Greenwood Center construction continues

Michael Wolfe and Mingo Evans work on the Greenwood construction. The construction is estimated to be finished around Aug. 2023. Photo by Alexander Walcott

The Greenwood Interprofessional Autism Center Project’s current phase is projected to be completed by Aug. 2023.

Greenwood would be primarily used as a center to serve people within the autistic community from Kirksville and surrounding areas, said Brandon Herscovitch, director of the Greenwood Interprofessional Autism Center. 

The Greenwood building is located next to Truman State University’s campus. Greenwood used to house one of the local elementary schools until the building was acquired by the University during the 90’s, Dave Rector, vice president for administration, finance and planning said.

Herscovitch said they could serve people from childhood through adulthood, depending on those who visit the center. 

Another benefit of the Greenwood Center would be to enhance the academic experience of Truman students, Herscovitch said. This will be done through experiential learning as well as having a place to meet and work with colleagues, though the details are still being worked out, he said

“There’s certain things that I just kind of know we are going to do, but as I start to learn about the community’s needs, that will help me determine, ‘do we need more space?’ or classroom learning versus individual,” Herscovitch said.

The project began during 2017 when the initial proposal for the Greenwood Center came from the academic side of the University, Rector said. This included the then-Provost Sue Thomas.

A full appropriation from the state was acquired for the project initially, but because of government financial constraints, most of the money was withheld. Money was then acquired later to renovate the windows of the building, but a third of that was withheld as well, Rector said.

During that stage, most of the windows were renovated, leaving some unfinished. This allowed for transferring materials through the unfinished windows at later stages of the project, Rector said.

The University then acquired money for site development through the government. Rector said this stage involved building the parking lot as well as reworking the utility lines for the building, including water, sewer, natural gas and electrical lines.

The next phase is the current stage of development. The construction is being carried out by a local contractor called PSR Construction. PSR Construction was chosen based on their bid as well as past experience with the University. The funds for this phase were awarded during April and construction began during May, Rector said.

The Greenwood Project’s budget is $5.6 million for the current stage of development with $4.6 million of the funds coming from the Missouri government. Another $1.1 million was given to the University for the Greenwood Project by the Sunderland Foundation, a Kansas City-based organization, according to a document from a Board of Governors meeting.

The current construction phase involves the construction of a small two-story addition to the side of the building. This addition will house an elevator for the building, Rector said.

Much of the current construction will focus on the first floor of the building. A reception and waiting area, exam rooms, classrooms, therapy rooms and an administrative support area will be created during this phase, Rector said.

Further improvements to the building include HVAC systems, electrical services, fire alarms, sprinklers and restrooms. Updates to the second floor of the building will be focused on providing space for future expansion, Rector said.

“Obviously, if the second phase isn’t done, you don’t want to start trying to serve people in there meanwhile someone in the building is using a drill or a power saw,” Rector said.

This phase is projected to be completed Aug. 2023. The next phase would then be reviewed by the Board of Governors during December and begin during January if approved, Rector said.

The next phase has a congressionally directed spending budget from the federal government through Missouri Senator Roy Blunt for $3.1 million. This phase is currently out to bid, Rector said.

The entire Greenwood Center Project may be completed during Aug. 2023, but because of supply chain issues, this date is not yet confirmed, Rector said.