When Missouri State University’s JQH Arena opened in 2008, shell space was left for a locker room complex with the anticipation it would be completed at a later date through private gifts. Now that vision will become a reality.

Before the 2013-14 basketball season is completed, the Bears and Lady Bears will be using locker rooms, offices and meeting space in the Jim D. Morris Basketball Complex.  The complex was named in the spring of 2013 in recognition of the lead gift from Morris, a Springfield philanthropist and long-time supporter of the University.

The $3.7 million project, which will be funded exclusively through private contributions, will begin in June and is scheduled to be completed November 8, 2013.  DeWitt and Associates, Inc., was awarded the construction contract at the Board of Governors Executive Committee meeting Wednesday (May 15) and was ratified by the full Board today (May 16) at its regularly scheduled meeting.

“We are excited to get this project under way,” said Missouri State President Clifton M. Smart III.  “We already have one of the best arenas in the country, and the Jim D. Morris Complex will just make it that much better.  We are indebted to the donors who are making this possible.  Without the private support, this project simply doesn’t happen.”

The Lady Bears' locker room will be named in honor of the Pinegar Family, and the Bears' locker room will be named in honor of the McQueary Family.  Both the Pinegars and McQuearys provided significant gifts to support the project. Several other major gifts have been committed to the complex, while additional donations are being sought.

The project includes a new exterior entry off of Monroe Street, team locker rooms, player lounges and meeting rooms, in addition to offices for the men's and women's coaching staffs. The project also includes a state-of-the-art audio-visual system and associated athletic training room, reception area and storage space.  In addition, a mezzanine level will be constructed above the new basketball complex that can be used for additional storage and future expansion.

“The impact this project will have on our basketball teams and their recruiting efforts will be tremendous,” said Kyle Moats, director of intercollegiate athletics.  “This will definitely bring a sense of pride to everyone who wears maroon and white.”