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Work Set to Begin on Second Phase of Residence Hall Master Plan

May 7, 2019

When students move out of the Morse Complex this weekend, the second phase of Emporia State University’s $31.5 million housing master plan will begin.

This exciting campus construction project — a complete renovation of Abigail Morse Hall — will transform the landscape west of Wooster Lake, providing a welcoming space for Hornets past, present and future to gather. The housing master plan is funded by ESU residents and supported by generous donors.

Planning for the new project included the university’s commitment to be a friend to the environment and the community. Emporia State will be reusing and upcycling as many materials as possible. For materials the university cannot use, local and regional nonprofit groups have been invited to salvage materials for their organizations. 

“If you’ve ever built an addition to your house or remodeled a basement or kitchen, you understand the combination of excitement and complexity that goes with this type of project,” said Dr. Jim Williams, vice president for student affairs. “This renovation is one more way that we are investing in our wonderful campus to provide beautiful, modern living-learning spaces for our students.”

As to be expected, the Abigail Morse project will involve heavy equipment, traffic detours and noise. A key part of the project is demolishing Northeast Morse Hall and part of Central Morse Hall. On June 3, a construction fence will close 15th Avenue to vehicle traffic in the middle of campus between the Silent Joe bell tower and the southwest corner of Welch Stadium.

“We hope to keep pedestrian access south of Welch Stadium open,” said Cass Coughlin, director of residential life.

The renovated Abigail Morse Hall will open in August 2020.

Coughlin and his staff are already preparing for students to move in August into the new Schallenkamp Hall, the first phase of ESU’s housing master plan.

“While there is still heavy equipment outside with plenty of mud, the inside is coming together beautifully,” Coughlin said of Schallenkamp. “We are planning open houses in late July and early August to show off our students’ newest residence.”




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