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A magnet school partnership between MSU and SPS is planned at William H. Darr Agricultural Center.
SBJ file photo
A magnet school partnership between MSU and SPS is planned at William H. Darr Agricultural Center.

MSU board to vote on architects for Darr school, Tent Theatre

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The Missouri State University Board of Governors is scheduled to vote tomorrow on two architecture firm contracts for the planned Darr Agricultural Magnet School Building and the permanent Tent Theatre project.

MSU staff members are recommending approval for both contracts: a $437,000 agreement with St. Louis-based Patterhn Ives LLC and a $250,000 deal with Springfield’s Arkifex Studios LLC. MSU yesterday released the board’s Jan. 15 executive committee meeting agenda.

MSU spokeswoman Andrea Mostyn said the contracts are for preliminary designs of the projects.

Both projects are part of the university $250 million Onward, Upward capital campaign, announced in October.

Darr school
Under the Darr school contract, Arkifex Studios would be retained as a consultant for the estimated $4 million project that represents a partnership between MSU and Springfield Public Schools, Mostyn said.

Southwest Missouri businessman Bill Darr recently made a $6.5 million donation to improve the MSU agricultural college and campus off Kansas Expressway that bears his name. The funds are earmarked for construction of the magnet school and a companion animal education facility for the William H. Darr College of Agriculture.

The MSU board’s agenda indicates plans for the Darr school include six classrooms, a laboratory, faculty and administrative offices, and a commercial prep kitchen. The building is slated for completion in fall 2021.

“Arkifex Studios was the firm selected for this project due to past experience with Springfield Public Schools. Arkifex Studios has the knowledge and experience in food security, which is the primary academic component for Springfield Public Schools for this educational facility,” the board’s agenda reads. “The consultant will provide comprehensive design services, from schematic design through post-construction, as part of the fee for this project.”

The new magnet school, expected to start classes in fall 2021, would serve roughly 150 elementary students.

Tent Theatre
The MSU board tomorrow also is scheduled to vote on hiring Patterhn Ives as consultant for an outdoor performing arts pavilion at Craig Hall.

Mostyn said she didn’t have an estimated cost for the project, which includes a permanent Tent Theatre structure.

The Tent Theatre project was important to actor and MSU alumnus John Goodman, who’s serving as campaign chair for Onward, Upward. Goodman, who visited MSU for the campaign announcement, had performed at the Tent Theatre in the 1970s.

“A lead gift has been given by John Goodman,” Mostyn said this morning of the arts pavilion project.

The board’s agenda states Patterhn Ives would work to develop a master plan for a pavilion that would seat at least 350 people. Tent Theatre currently operates by putting up a temporary structure for shows.

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