COLUMBIA - Stephens College President Dianne Lynch presented a plan to the Historic Preservation Commission Thursday night to sell, rezone, and demolish two Stephens College buildings for the Hagan Scholarship Academy. The academy will be for high-achieving junior and senior high school students from rural Missouri counties.
According to Mark Farnen who has been working with Lynch on the project, Stephens doesn't need additional housing, and the academy would be a "good fit for their mission and long term goals."
The two buildings, Hillcrest Hall and the Auditorium and Natatorium, have not been used for years, and are no longer fit for use. Stephens College officials see it as an opportunity to provide a helpful program for Missouri youth. The project has a $60 million endowment.
Historical Preservation Commission members are concerned that the college may regret tearing down the historical buildings in the future. Lynch went on a tour of the building with some members before the meeting in order to further explain the project. She emphasized that some portions of the buildings could be preserved by the commission before they is sold in June.
The commission and public were allowed to comment and ask questions on the project after the presentation.