SEMO Magill Hall Organic Chemistry Lab Rendering

Incorporating Collaborative Spaces in Science Labs

Magill Hall Organic Chemistry Lab Renovation
Southeast Missouri State University
Cape Girardeau, MO

Magill Hall was built in 1958 as student laboratories and, after nearly 50 years of continuous use, was in need of updating. The labs had some significant safety deficits in layout and equipment. The faculty wanted to renovate the laboratory to provide a collaborative learning environment and improve lab safety. In order to accomplish the project goals, KAI completely gutted and renovated two labs, creating one larger 2,331 SF lab. The renovated space was ringed with sufficient new fume hoods to provide a minimum of 3 linear feet of hood front per student.

To support collaborative learning at Southeast Missouri State University in Magill Hall, a U-shaped laboratory bench was installed in the middle of the space. The interior of the U provides space for instructors to demonstrate procedures while the outside of the U provides seated benchtop space for students to collaborate on projects. The room was visually connected with the hallway by removing most of the existing masonry corridor walls and replacing them with fire-resistance rated glazing. New exposed ductwork added an interesting design element to the space. To moderate the acoustical issues raised by the additional exposed surfaces, acoustical panels were suspended in the concrete pan joists. KAI assisted the faculty in understanding the design by creating a building information model of the space and adjacent hallway. Renderings were created from the model and were provided to the faculty in order to improve their visualization of the finished space.


Architecture, Building Information Modeling, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Plumbing Engineering, Cost Estimating, Fire Protection Engineering

"The increased space and state-of-the-art equipment added during this renovation will allow Southeast Missouri State University to continue to attract top-notch faculty and greater numbers of students interested in entering the fields of biology, chemistry, agriculture, physics, engineering physics and environmental sciences.”

Dr. Chris McGowan, Dean of the College of Science, Technology and Agriculture
Southeast Missouri State University

The Impact

Increasing the Numbers

It is estimated that 7,000 students received their science education in Magill Hall the first year after reopening – an increase of more than 8.5 percent as a result of additional space. Furthermore, an increased number of undergraduate and graduate students are now be able to work with faculty in Magill’s expanded and enhanced research labs and will continue to utilize the space more efficiently for many years to come.