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Drury University’s C.H. “Chub” O’Reilly Enterprise Center won’t be ready for a fall debut as originally planned, school officials say.
Supply chain issues with project components such as audiovisual equipment, flooring and HVAC systems are the cause of the delay, said Brandon Gammill, Drury’s vice president of facilities operations.
“There are pieces of the project that have been pushed out,” he said, noting the 67,000-square-foot building will now open for students in January 2023. “That’s simply due to supply chain issues and us not wanting to jeopardize it for a lesser material.”
However, Gammill said the project remains on target for its $27 million budget, noting construction is nearly 85% complete. Nabholz Construction Corp. serves as general contractor for the building, designed by New York City-based Cooper Robertson & Partners LLP and St. Louis-based Trivers Associates Inc.
The project at the corner of Drury Lane and Central Street includes the three-story Enterprise Center, which will house the Breech School of Business, department of political science and international affairs, The Robert and Mary Cox Compass Center, and high-tech collaborative spaces. Attached to the building is the 12,000-square-foot Judy Thompson Executive Conference Center, a two-story structure for meetings, conferences and workshops.
Gammill said the AV equipment is the most significant contributor to the delay, adding it largely serves as “the heart of this building.”
“We’ve really taken a lot of pride in the technology of this building,” he said. “Although there are alternate products out there, they don’t have the ratings or specifications as far as quality that we want. Therefore, we’ve decided to wait on the stuff that we originally specced.”
Faculty are expected to have access to move into the building by October, Gammill said.
“That allows them October through December to get moved in and trained on this technology,” he said, noting that includes a new cybersecurity lab. “Our faculty are absolutely appreciative of the added time they have to get moved in comfortably and not under a strict timeline.”
The center also will include a cafe open to the public beginning in January, which Gammill said will be an Einstein Bros. Bagels shop. Drury’s food service provider, Columbia-based Fresh Ideas Management LLC, is leasing 1,800 square feet in the building, he said. The shop’s seating capacity will be near 100, Gammill said. Lease term information was unavailable as of deadline.
Less than a mile away from Drury, Ozarks Technical Community College’s Robert W. Plaster Center for Advanced Manufacturing is also under construction. School officials say an Aug. 15 grand opening is scheduled for the $40 million, 120,000-square-foot building on OTC's Springfield campus.
Both the OTC and Drury projects began within weeks of each other in 2020, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.
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