Project Information

Buliding Layout

  • View the building layout for the Student Recreation Center
  • View the PowerPoint® presentation below to learn more about the Student Recreation Center project.

*Related Slideshows after slide 13 are not connected with Missouri State University-West Plains.

Message from the Chancellor

During the Student Government Association (SGA) elections that begin on March 15, 2010, Missouri State University-West Plains students also will be voting on a $25 student fee that will support building a facility designed as a combination Emergency Shelter and Student Recreation Center.  This initiative takes advantage of a $1.3 million dollar grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and was recently endorsed at separate meetings of the SGA, Faculty Senate and Staff Senate.  In each case the vote was unanimous.

The purpose of this communication is to provide basic information about the project and announce a series of “Town Hall meetings” where I will make myself available to answer questions and to get student feedback on this proposal.

The need for the FEMA Emergency Shelter/Student Recreation Center is two-fold:

  • Provide a Safe Tornado Shelter for Area Residents
    There is no available tornado-safe shelter for the 1,669 students, staff, faculty, residents, and business workers that are within a five-minute radius of this location. This project will provide the needed shelter on a 24-hour basis and reduce injury and loss of life in the event of a tornado by providing accessibility to a shelter.
  • Provide a Recreation Center for Student Use
    The proposed shelter would provide multiple indoor recreational opportunities for students in the heart of the campus, including a gymnasium for basketball and volleyball, and a separate racquetball court. It also would be available for other student uses, including student life activities. This is a unique opportunity to build a recreational facility for students with the majority of the funding coming from an outside source.

The proposed site for the building is at the corner of Garfield Avenue and West Trish Knight Street, just west of the basketball court near the Grizzly House. The facility is estimated to cost $2,221,144. FEMA will fund $1,320,149, leaving $900,965 as the University’s responsibility, which would be funded through an auxiliary bond (loan). Funds from a FEMA Emergency Shelter/Student Recreation Center fee of $25 per semester (fall, spring, summer) for a period of 25 years would be used to repay the loan.  If a student fee is not approved, we will not be able to build the facility.

You are invited to attend one of the Town Hall meetings listed below for more information:

  • Thursday, February 18 at 6:00 p.m. in Putnam Student Center
  • Wednesday, February 24 at 12:00 p.m. in Putnam Student Center
  • Monday, March 1, at 3:30 p.m. Lybyer 205
  • Tuesday, March 2, at 11:00 a.m. in Melton 112
  • Wednesday, March 3, at 3:30 p.m. in Lybyer 205

I would not bring this initiative forward if I did not think it was a worthy project, a major enhancement to our campus, and, especially, a substantial benefit to our students.  It has taken a great deal of effort to secure the FEMA grant, and I and the administration hope that you and your fellow students will take advantage of this opportunity.  We hope to see you at one of the Town Hall meetings.  Whether or not you can attend, however, we encourage you to consider supporting this project.

Drew Bennett

Message from the Student Government Association President

I support the student fee to build the Multipurpose Student Recreation Center/FEMA Shelter. This building would be very beneficial to the campus and the community.

Missouri State University-West Plains would benefit from having a storm shelter close by for students, faculty and staff; the campus also would benefit by having a new building for student use. It has been a long time since this campus has seen a new building go up, and as the campus is ever growing, this would be a good step forward. This building will be available to students to play basketball, volleyball, or racquetball; student organizations can use it for various events; and campus events can be hosted there.

Aside from the benefits to the campus, the community would benefit by having a storm shelter in close proximity to many of the downtown businesses.

I understand that a 25-year, $25-per-semester fee can sound rather imposing for future generations, but this building will serve all of the future generations. I like to think of this building as a way for myself and every student enrolled now to leave a legacy on this campus.

Danelle Alkire

Student Government Association President

Project Timeline:

  • Construction Began – Late February 2011
  • Construction Completed – August 2011

Construction Meetings begin on March 2, 2011 and took place every other week.

Fast Facts:

  • 10,000 sq. ft. (approximately)
  • Multi-Purpose Activity Court (Basketball Courts; Volleyball Court; Banquets; Presentations; Lectures)
  • Racquetball Court


A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 3:00p.m. Below is the ceremony video:

Time-Lapse Video

This is the time-lapsed video of the construction of the new student recreation center/FEMA shelter on the West Plains campus of Missouri State University.

Right-click and save this link to download the Construction Video.