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Oct. 24, 2011
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Northwest Missouri State University will move its St. Joseph Center to the Historic Green Acres Building May 1, 2012, under the terms of an agreement approved Friday by the University’s Board of Regents and announced today with St. Joseph Realtor Don Evans.
Northwest’s St. Joseph Center will be the anchor tenant of the building, located conveniently at 3500 North Village Drive in St. Joseph, near the city’s Belt Highway and just one mile northwest of Highway 169 and I-29. For Northwest, the new location enables the University to maintain its presence in St. Joseph, where it has offered classes for nearly half a century.
“Northwest Missouri State University has been offering graduate programs to students in northwest Missouri for decades, and I am extremely excited we will be able to offer these programs in this vibrant region of the city,” Northwest Provost Dr. Doug Dunham said. “While our current location and building have served us well these past four years, the configuration and number of classrooms in this building, the convenience of the location and the number of increased amenities will serve our students and faculty well.”
The St. Joseph Center will occupy a wing on the 92-year-old building’s first floor with an initial lease term spanning five years and offering multiple renewals. The move will enable the St. Joseph Center to save on operational costs while offering its programs at a facility in a more centralized location with free parking. The 5,000 square-foot space leased by Northwest will include five classrooms, built to the University’s needs for size and Instructional TV, as well as office space.
Located in St. Joseph’s fast-growing northeastern sector, the property also is close to a bustling marketplace that adds further appeal for students attending the St. Joseph Center. The nearby Shoppes of North Village are home to numerous popular stores and restaurants, and construction is under way on a hotel adjacent to the Green Acres building. A YMCA is planned across the street, along with a 28-acre city park.
“I think it’s a perfect fit for the building,” Evans said. “We’re looking for professional clientele to occupy this building, and having graduate students is going to be a really good thing.”
The Historic Green Acres building was built in 1919 by the St. Joseph-based Lehr Construction, which still exists today, and initially served as an infirmary that provided a home for the county’s less fortunate. Residents earned their keep by working on a 300-acre farm on the surrounding land now occupied by the Shoppes of North Village development.
The building, which spans more than 32,000 square feet on two floors, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009. Its ornate, mostly brick exterior features large porch columns, detailed fascia, cove molds and dentils. Among the building’s many innovative interior features, a center light court draws natural light into the building and will be converted into a courtyard for the building’s occupants and visitors. Additionally, a 30-inch by 25-inch deep concrete cistern, which earlier caught rain water to use for the building’s day-to-day operations, remains in mint condition and is being used to water the landscape. The building’s shared space includes a banquet hall capable of seating up to 200 people.
Evans purchased the property in 2007 and is overseeing a seven-phase restoration of the building. Now entering phase three, the building is home to a variety of tenants that include Evans Realty, a bridal boutique and a hair stylist. A coffee shop also will soon move into the building.
Northwest opened its St. Joseph Center in September 2007 at its current location, 706 Felix St., in St. Joseph. Prior to that, the University had offered post-baccalaureate courses in St. Joseph for more than 40 years, but always in classrooms provided by other schools.
The St. Joseph Center offers graduate programs in curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, guidance and counseling, instructional technology, alternative certification and a Master of Business Administration. It also offers a Master of Science in biology program with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. in St. Joseph and a doctorate in education with the University of Missouri-Columbia. During the 2010-11 academic year, the St. Joseph Center served an average of 161 students per trimester.
Northwest plans to offer classes at the Green Acres building beginning in June with its summer 2012 trimester.
Northwest is a coeducational, primarily residential four-year university offering a broad range of undergraduate and selected graduate programs. Founded in 1905, the University has evolved into a vibrant and diverse learning community with an enrollment of more than 7,200 students hailing from throughout the United States and 33 countries. Known as the “electronic campus,” Northwest provides fully-loaded notebook computers to all full-time students while placing high value on hands-on experiences, collaboration and strategic thinking.
In addition to the St. Joseph Center and its main campus in Maryville, the University offers courses at its Kansas City Center in Liberty, at the Kirksville Area Technical Center and through collaborative programs with Missouri Southern State University and Saint Luke’s School of Radiologic Technology, among others.
For more information about Northwest, go to www.nwmissouri.edu.
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
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Northwest Missouri State University
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