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DECEMBER 18, 2013

Three Rivers breaks ground on Humanities and Social Sciences building

Three Rivers College marked the continuation of a series of expansions and renovations across its 15-county service area with a groundbreaking ceremony for its Humanities and Social Sciences classroom building, held on December 18 on the college's Poplar Bluff Campus.

"We're celebrating the continuation of the transformation of our Poplar Bluff Campus and the positioning of our institution to meet the demands we face as the primary job creator for Southeast Missouri," said Dr. Devin Stephenson, President of Three Rivers College. "The building will also increase the collegiate feel of our campus, especially when combined with the newly renovated Academic Resource Commons. We want to make our institution a place that students are proud of when they walk on campus."

Speakers at the ceremony included Dr. Stephenson; Darren Garrison, Chair of the Three Rivers Board of Trustees; Steve Halter, President of the Greater Poplar Bluff Area Chamber of Commerce; Riley Bock, Chair of the Three Rivers Endowment Trust; and Emily Parks, Director of Development for Three Rivers College and Executive Director of the Three Rivers Endowment Trust.

"When I read about other towns in the Midwest that are successful, that are prospering, the key is always education," said Halter. "Three Rivers is that key to success for Poplar Bluff. They are behind the economic engine that is driving through our city."

The 40,000-square-foot classroom building, when completed, will include the college's first lecture hall, 16 state-of-the-art classrooms, and three computer labs. In addition, the structure will also contain a two-story FEMA-certified safe room capable of withstanding 200-mile-per-hour winds. The building will be located on the east side of the Poplar Bluff Campus by the Academic Resource Commons and the Westover Administration Building.

Construction is expected to cost $6.3 million and be completed in spring 2015. The project will be partially funded by a $2.6 million federal FEMA safe room grant, with the remainder provided through the fundraising efforts of the Three Rivers Endowment Trust and a bond issue.

During construction, parking by the Westover Building and the Academic Resources Commons will be limited, and the college will close the section of road between the Westover Building and the Bess Activity Center. The roadway leading from Three Rivers Boulevard to the Westover Building will become two-way for the duration of construction.

The Three Rivers Endowment Trust is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, designated by Three Rivers College to receive and manage gifts on behalf of the College. It acts as a trustee for donations to assure that gifts are distributed in the manner specified by the donor. To make a donation, contact Endowment Trust Executive Director Emily Parks at 573-840-9077, or Development Officer Michelle Reynolds at 573-472-6650.

Three Rivers leaders and members of the community gather to break ground on Three Rivers College's new Humanities and Social Sciences building.
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