The University of Missouri-Rolla will break ground on a $24 million renovation and expansion project during a ceremony from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30., near the current site of the Mechanical Engineering Building on campus.
The new Toomey Hall will replace the existing Mechanical Engineering Building, which houses the mechanical and aerospace engineering department at UMR. Another structure, the Mechanical Engineering Annex, will be razed as part of the project.
The renovated building is being named in honor of UMR graduate John Toomey, his wife Mary, and their family. The lead gift of $5 million by the Toomey family was the largest donation for the construction of an academic building in UMR’s history.
UMR will break ground on a $24 million renovation and expansion project during a ceremony from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30., near the current site of the Mechanical Engineering Building on campus.
Toomey Hall will feature state-of-the-art learning centers, laboratories and computer facilities. Dr. Ashok Midha, professor and chair of the mechanical engineering department at UMR, is looking forward to the added space and modernized features.
“Our existing facilities are woefully inadequate,” Midha says. “In fact, the annex was built more than 100 years ago – a year before the Wright brothers’ first flight.”
The renovation and modernization project will evolve in phases over the next several years, and the final cost might go up with inflation. UMR is still raising money toward the completion of the project.
The groundbreaking ceremony for Toomey Hall occurs during Homecoming weekend at UMR.