MSUM is selling Annex

Structures are built, sold, purchased and renovated throughout many years; the Annex building, built in 1948 is no different.

MSUM has owned the Annex building since 2001, and as the all- too-familiar decreased enrollment takes its toll, the building is for sale.

Terry Shoptaugh, the MSUM archivist, did some digging and discovered previous uses for the building. As one passes the glass block windows on 11th Street South, a cross is built into the structure with clear glass.

Shoptaugh talked to locals hoping to learn more information about the building and its previous uses. He learned it was apartments and then an evangelical church for many years in the 1980s-1990s.

Jan Mahoney, vice president of finance and administration, shed much light on MSUM’s purchase of the building.

“The MSUM Alumni Foundation purchased the building in 2001 with terms that the university would pay all expenses as well as the mortgage over a 20-year period,” she wrote in an email. “In 2006, the university paid the MSUM Alumni Foundation the balance of the original mortgage, $119,757.27.”

The building was used for New Rivers Press storage, storage for the theater department, the environmental health and safety department, art classes, phone-a-thon activities and faculty offices.

For many years, the Annex has housed New Rivers Press’s books from various authors. However, in December of 2012, New Rivers Press had to remove the stored books because of water damage and the university’s plans for selling the building.

Suzzanne Kelley, managing editor and co-director of New Rivers Press, is thankful for the space the Annex provided for the storage of many books.

“MSUM has been supportive of our press; the university needed us to relocate so that the building could be put up for sale,” Kelley wrote in an email.  “Another on-campus site was located for our books – downstairs in the Center for Business. It’s not as large as the space that we had in the Annex, but we are glad to have our inventory in a secure location.”

Since enrollment is low compared to the period of time between 2001-11, MSUM has less demand for space.

Grier Hall is now available for a swing space for renovation projects, whereas the Annex was once used for a swing space during the renovation of MacLean Hall. The university is working on improving space usage of academic buildings, and in 2011 only 78 percent of the Annex was used.

The 2010 Master Facility Plan contains a summary of the Annex building including its suitability: “Originally constructed as a church, the building is not ideal for current use as storage. Issues for other uses include remoteness, lack of fire protection and accessibility. The main hall and lower level spaces are both accessible only by stairs.”

Currently, MSUM owns the Annex with no mortgage to be paid off, and if the building sells, the money will be used for future facility improvements.

BY JESSICA JASPERSON
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