Neosho campus renovates over summer

James Walls
Campus News Editor

During the summer, the Crowder College campus in Neosho took on many renovations. While transforming the Academic Resource Center (ARC) into the new Student Success Center (SSC), many other remodeling projects also occurred, such as remodeling the 3D art and ceramics room and updating the student dormitories.

3D art and ceramics room

Room 100C in Newton Hall was near-to-completely transformed over the summer. Now sporting a polished concrete floor, the problematic carpet that often gathered dust from the clay projects has been removed. In addition to this, however, the room has also been divided and now features a glazing room so students can work on various projects at the same time.

“We received a donation from Jack Sours, and he gave us a lot of materials to make glazes.  So once we got those materials, we needed it to be a safe environment to mix the glazes, and that’s where that room came in,” said Casey Stueber, explaining one of the reasons for adding the new room.

Other changes include new electrical hookups for a third kiln, new shelving to store students’ projects, refinished walls, new lighting and even cleaned windows that now give students a view of the outside world. Also, the art studio has not only been remodeled, but also expanded to across the hall where the old lecture room will now serve as the woodshop, giving more space for students, shelving and different projects.

“The first students that came in before school started were screaming.  They were so excited,” said Stueber, smiling as she related the experience. “Everyone has just been so happy and they love working in the studio now.”


The student dormitories were also remodeled over the summer, with all of the houses being repainted to add new appeal. In addition, the showers were redone with epoxy to match Crowder colors, new beds were added and some landscaping projects were also included to make students feel more comfortable while staying on campus.

“They [returning dorm students] were surprised and really loved the new paint job, and the showers really impressed them,” said Lori Kelly, Assistant Director of Campus Life.

While there were no safety issues concerning the conditions of the dormitories prior to the renovation, many felt that it was long overdue for an upgrade.

“It’s been many years since we’ve had a full month of time when nobody was in the dorms,” said Jim Cummins, Vice President of Finances. “We used to have Upward session in June and Upward Bound session in July, so basically the two weeks before school started was it.  This year the Upward Bound folks said we’ll do it all in one session, bring them all in in June and we’ll have the whole month of July and a couple weeks in August.  So mostly over the summer all of our attention was in the dorms, and 90 percent of the reason why is because they needed them. They needed them and the availability of time was there, so we did it.”

Student Success Center (SSC)

The SSC, previously known as the ARC, has had many changes made over the summer. Now housing more offices and a smaller computer lab, the center offers various kinds of services all in one location.

“…We needed to have a one-stop area where students could come and get all types of advising, and that’s where it kind of came from, an advising model where students could come and get academic advising, transfer advising, career advising, retention advising, disability advising,” said Helen Hale, Student Success Center Coordinator, as she related the reason behind the changes. “And so it’s all right here now.”

Offering individual offices for the different advisors, the center now serves as that one-stop location for students who need help in almost any area of college life. It is due to this reason that the name was changed as well, not just the facility. It focuses more on students’ success than just academic resources. Also, despite how the center has minimized its computer lab down to six computers, these computers are still available to students for more than simply testing.

“For the [students] that were here a lot with the ARC, I think that they miss the computer lab,” Hale commented. “But a lot of students like the relaxed atmosphere, the study tables and just having somebody here that they can talk to.”

While other repairs and renovations were done to the Neosho campus, the 3D art and ceramics room, student dormitory, and SSC were the main projects this summer. According to Cummins, the reason behind this was mostly timing.

“Renovations are tough when students are around.  You don’t want to disrupt them, and the whole environment kind of gets disruptive when you’ve got a lot of construction going on,” stated Cummins. “So when we can, we try to do it over the summer.”