Lindenwood University’s Board of Directors approved plans to spend $3.5 million in capital expenses for the Belleville campus on Friday, May 13. Facilities scheduled to undergo renovation include the science laboratories, Office of Student Services, Division of Science and Mathematics Office, classrooms in the auditorium, and the football field.
The $3.5 million is part of a $5 million campus renovation campaign, which will be launched this summer. The campaign will focus on enhancing classroom and facility space, as well as beginning construction of a running track and new football stadium. With a high potential to spark the creation of new degrees and athletic programs, the campaign seeks to open the door for a dramatic increase in student enrollment.
Dr. Paige Mettler-Cherry, dean of academics at the Belleville campus, stated that the approved renovations will act as a catalyst for new degree programs at Lindenwood Belleville and will serve to enhance the research opportunities available to students. “The expansion of our science laboratories will enable us to offer majors in the sciences, including biology and chemistry,” Mettler-Cherry said. “This is key to filling a great need for graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, areas that provide the fuel for the American economy.”
Athletic Director Scott Spinner says plans for an outdoor running track and refurbished football stadium will help the already booming athletics program and will act as yet another recruitment tool.
“The new track and field will be widely used by our cross country, lacrosse and field hockey teams and will begin to pave the way for our anticipated football program in the near future,” Spinner said. “Because our relationship with Belleville is so important to us, we also hope to lease or rent out our new facilities for use by the community. Althoff High School’s football team uses our current field for practice, and we would like to continue to benefit their players in the future.”
As debris from the previous football stadium is removed, artificial turf will be installed and renovations to the stadium itself will distinguish the new facility as truly a university-scale athletics arena.
In addition to upgrades for classrooms and athletic facilities, a portion of the approved funds will go towards the installation of five strategically placed Code Blue stations, complete with security cameras. In case of an emergency, a push of the button on one of these stations will alert members of the Lindenwood police patrol as well as local law enforcement officials. Dr. Angela Wingo, dean of students, said the addition is an “important step forward to ensuring an even higher level of safety for students, faculty and staff on campus.”
An additional student lounge and soft seating areas in the Office of Student Services will create a more welcoming and spacious environment for students to congregate and find out what’s going on around campus.
“With the increase in the projected student population, Student Services is excited to have a newly renovated space to accommodate the growth and changes that are coming,” Wingo said. “Our facilities will now allow students to have more room for interaction, as well as a place to seek out the services they need and participate in organizing student activities.”
Along with the recently approved $3.5 million, Lindenwood University-Belleville also plans to spend $1.5 million on building improvements, such as new window installation, tuck pointing, roofing, air conditioning and heating in several campus buildings, including houses purchased to accommodate residential students.
“We are creating a full-service university in the heart of Belleville, and we want our facilities to reflect that spirit to the surrounding community and to our students,” said Jerry Bladdick, vice president and CAO for the Belleville campus. “It is our priority to provide for our students’ academic, athletic, social, and safety needs, and through our new and improved facilities, we look forward to servicing a growing number of students in the near future.”