University plans to demolish Springer Residential College

Story by Destinee Marking, Staff writer 

Murray State is set to demolish one of its unoccupied residential colleges as early as 2018.

At the Aug. 25  meeting, the Board of Regents approved the razing of Springer Residential College.

Shawn Touney, director of communication, said the university is in the early stages of the project; scheduling and preparation are being planned.

Mold growth was discovered in the building about a year ago, which he said made the building unoccupiable for students.

“Through several evaluations of the building, it was determined that the costs for necessary repairs to Springer Hall did not justify moving forward with improving the condition of the building,” Touney said. “The university was potentially looking at up to $2 million for necessary repairs with no guarantee of sufficiently improving the structure.”

Touney said the space left after razing the building will be kept as green space as the university discusses long-term housing needs.

Since the approval, students have expressed opinions on social media.

Claudia Burcham, sophomore from Jefferson City, Missouri, posted a status that garnered multiple responses from students regarding what they would like to see the space become.

Burcham said she is passionate about discussing the future of the space left after the removal of the building.

“Many MSU students have opinions that I believe need to be voiced to the correct department and people on campus,” Burcham said.

Burcham brought the topic up at the Aug. 30 Student Government Association meeting.

“When I brought this up at the SGA meeting I felt like the majority of the students agreed with me and were open to the idea of discussion,” Burcham said.

Burcham said she believes more information needs to be released to students because right now the details are vague and cause concern.

“The students would be more understanding of the green space idea if they understood the reasoning behind it from the university’s perspective,” Burcham said.

Regarding the university’s choice to leave the area green space, Burcham said she understands why that is an option because of the budget and the potential for new housing in the future, but said there are other options.

“I personally would like to see this space become some sort of dining franchise or facility,” said Burcham. “I think this would be a prime location since Winslow, Fast Track, and Pony Express are also in the area, so it would be easy access for students.”

Burcham said some of the space could also be used for additional parking.

“While I understand the student’s desire for additional parking and other ideas for the land Springer is on, I know Murray State will do whatever is best for the future of the university,” Burcham said.

Aidan Lewis, freshman from Red Bud, Illinois, said she thinks the space has potential to become parking.

“Since Richmond is currently closed, that leaves a lot of parking spots unable to be used,” Lewis said.

Because of this, Lewis said it would benefit students and they may appreciate it more than a green space.

Razing the building is estimated to cost $600,000 or $700,000, Jackie Dudley, vice president of finance and administrative services, said.

“This will be a substantial process for us,” Dudley said.