JOPLIN, Mo. - Ground was formally broken on the campus of Missouri Southern State University Tuesday morning on a building to be named after outgoing Democratic Governor Jay Nixon.
"With all the work that's been done here and the fact that it's a building that's going to last a long time and make a difference for folks--to name it after you is one of those things that you don't get up in the morning thinking about. But when you look back on a career in public service, having these concrete examples of progress that has been made when you were governor is something that's very important to me," explained Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.
And Ron Richard, a Republican state senator, says he couldn't think of a more fitting figure for the honor.
"Because he's been such a partner in this community for a number of reasons, not only because he helped finance this building it's because he was here everyday through that tornado and that storm," added Missouri State Senator Ron Richard.
Construction on what will be known as Nixon Hall will begin in the spring of 2017 with a completion date of the fall semester of 2018.
It will be linked the the back of Reynolds Hall through a second floor enclosed walkway.
As part of the same project, the third floor of Reynolds Hall is getting a facelift right now. When that's finished, work on the remaining floors will take place.
And, faculty members say the upgrades are sorely needed.
"The math department has pretty simple needs. One of those is having enough space to teach our classes and having desks, boards and things like that work for the students and that's something that's been in short supply," said MSSU Mathematics Professor Dr. Chip Curtis.
Dr. Curtis says Nixon Hall will provide the Math Department with something it's never had before--it's own home. He says some of the equipment currently being used by the department dates back to the 1960's.