UMSL’s Benton Hall receives state funding for major renovation

Benton Hall at UMSL

UMSL will receive $13.6 million for the necessary renovation of Benton Hall, which in 1964 was the first building constructed on the university’s then-new campus. It’s part of a North Campus complex that includes the William L. Clay Center for Nanoscience, Anheuser-Busch Ecology and Conservation Complex, Research Building, Stadler Hall and the forthcoming Science Learning Building. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Benton Hall opened in 1965, although construction began in 1964. It was the first building built for the then-new University of Missouri–St. Louis campus and has been an important part of UMSL’s history and educational mission for five decades – but, frankly, campus leaders say it’s been showing its age.

Last week, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed a package of bills that designates $13.6 million in state bond funds toward renovating Benton Hall. UMSL Chancellor Thomas George says the campus and University of Missouri System will contribute an additional $11.7 million to update the five-story structure.

“It’s an understatement to say that I’m delighted with the governor’s action today,” George says. “A few weeks ago, Gov. Nixon was here to announce a $10 million earmark to a new business building. And now the university will receive $13.6 million for the necessary renovation of Benton Hall. I’m ecstatic. This is great news for our students and faculty. I certainly want to thank the governor and General Assembly.”

Benton Hall will be renovated to provide flexible classrooms of various seating capacities, seminar rooms, study areas, collaborative venues and other student spaces. Selective repairs will be made to the building envelope, and aged interior finishes will be replaced. Restrooms, entrances and other building components will be replaced to meet current accessibility requirements. Existing aged and unreliable building infrastructure will be replaced with modern efficient systems.

Media Coverage:
St. Louis Business Journal


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