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Ribbon-Cutting Celebrates New Residence Hall at Park UniversityBy Toni Cardarella - August 20, 2008 - 10:05 am
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With a ceremonial clipping of a burgundy-colored ribbon on Thursday, Park University President Beverley Byers-Pevitts, officially opened the University's newest student residence hall -- Copley Quad.
"Isn’t this great?" Byers-Pevitts said in her opening remarks at the Aug. 14 ribbon-cutting ceremony. "Thanks to everyone who helped make this happen."
Other featured speakers at the event marking the opening of the Copley Quad residence hall were Betty Knight, presiding commissioner of Platte County, Mo.; Parkville, Mo., Mayor Gerry Richardson; Javier Centonzio, president of the Park Student Government Association; Crystal Coltharp, president of the Residence Hall Council at Park; and Eugene Ruiz, chair of the Park University Board of Trustees.
Faculty, staff, students and community friends, attended the 9 a.m. ceremony outside the dorms, located on the western side of the Parkville Campus. After the ceremony, people stayed for a tour of the building's west wing, and students started moving in about 10 a.m. The first day of classes at Park was Aug. 18.
The building, which is more than 86,000 square feet, accommodates 250 students in four-person suites, which feature two bedrooms, two full bathrooms and a shared living area with an efficiency kitchen. The west wing, which opened Aug. 14, will accommodate about 150 students while the remaining 100 students will move into the east wing at the end of this month.
The residence hall includes common space with a conference/classroom, staff offices, 24-hour reception desk, laundry facilities, recreational space, a full-service kitchen, computer labs and study rooms.
"This is a wonderful addition to Park University and to Parkville," said Knight.
It took less than a year to complete construction of the new residence hall, Byers-Pevitts said, despite the extreme weather conditions.
Byers-Pevitts recognized several people in attendance, including Gladstone, Mo., Mayor Jim Allen; former Parkville mayors Kathy Dusenbery and Bill Quitmeier; and Park trustees Deanna Armstrong, Robert Burns, Peter deSilva and Ralph Reid.
Of the trustees Byers-Pevitts said, "This is a talented and visionary group who inspires me."
She asked several alumni of the dozens in the crowd to stand, as well as representatives from the Parkville Board of Aldermen, the Northland Regional Chamber, Platte County Economic Development Council and the Riverside (Mo.) Chamber of Commerce.
The University president also acknowledged Jim Allen, chair of the Industrial Development Authority of Parkville and the IDA's ongoing commitment to support those who work and live in the area, and she expressed appreciation to UMB and deSilva, president and chief operating officer of UMB Financial Corp.
She also thanked those at Park who helped "make this dream a reality," including the Student Life staff; Eric Blair, assistant dean of student life and special assistant to the vice president for student services; Roger Hershey, vice president and general counsel; Robert Pevitts, executive director of the International Center for Music; and Dorla Watkins, vice president for finance and administration.
After comments from the featured speakers, Byers-Pevitts returned to the podium and gave special thanks to Ellerbe Becket Architects and Ellerbe Becket Construction Services for work on the project. "They perfected the post office motto," refusing to let snow, rain, high winds or hail get in the way of the Copley Quad project, she said.
"They met all challenges," she said, "with proficiency and speed."
Once called to the podium, Ellerbe Becket principal John Poston said the partnership with Park not only produced a built to LEED Silver-standard residence hall, but friendships, and he praised Byers-Pevitts "charter" involvement with the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment.
Byers-Pevitts concluded her remarks by noting the strong determination of Paul Gault, special assistant for administration and Park’s owner representative for the project.
"You could find him every day, evenings and weekends on the construction site," she said. "He was the eyes, ears and voice of Park."