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University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (July 25, 2014) –University of Central Missouri Board of Governors President Marvin “Bunky” Wright, Columbia, this week reiterated the need for the board to exercise “fiscal responsibility” as it considers the future of Selmo Park following a comprehensive engineering assessment of the residential property.
Board members devoted a special work session Monday, July 21, to a presentation by representatives of Burns & McDonnell Engineering, Kansas City, which included projections totaling nearly $2 million to repair the house and grounds at Selmo Park, the president’s residence. The house has experienced water intrusion, creating structural problems that were elevated during rains and a sewage backup in early April 2014.
Recognizing the facility’s historical significance to the campus, and taking into consideration the projected nearly $2 million in costs associated with repairs, the board has not yet made a determination about the future of the property. The board will further consider issues related to the facility during its plenary session at 2 p.m. Aug. 21 in Elliott Student Union, Room 237B.
“Obviously, the board recognizes that Selmo Park is part of UCM’s heritage as are many other campus buildings and landmarks,” Wright said. “As the university’s Board of Governors, we have a responsibility to consider what is in the best interest of the university in all decisions we make. The board’s job is to examine expenses needed to provide the very best educational services and experiences offered by this university, and we must ensure that students receive the best educational opportunities at the most affordable cost. As is our role in all matters that are studied and considered by the board, we will operate in the institution’s best interest as we move forward with a decision specific to Selmo Park.”
Selmo Park was constructed in 1866. The numerous structural issues identified by Burns & McDonnell include a lack of ability for the building to “breathe.” The engineers used this term to describe how water vapor that enters the structure should be able to exit. Moisture entering Selmo Park is being trapped and cannot escape due to previous structural changes that relate to bricks and mortar.
The building’s basement has repeatedly suffered from flooding due to years of moisture intrusion and recent sewage backup; the front porch is sloping so that water runs into the structure, instead of away from it; moisture and resulting mold trapped behind interior walls; crumbling mortar on the exterior; and drainage problems throughout the grounds.
The projected nearly total $2 million cost comes from the following needs identified by Burns & McDonnell:
Outdoor activities currently planned on the Selmo Park grounds will continue, unless announced otherwise. The annual President’s Lawn Concert is planned for 7 p.m. Monday, July 28, and will feature free ice cream, cookies, and a 7:30 p.m. performance by the Warrensburg Community Band. In the event of inclement weather, the event will take place in the Elliott Student Union atrium and ballroom. Learn more about the event.