SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Missouri State University is making progress on its $50 million project for the soon-to-be Roy Blunt Hall, but what’s catching attention is the school’s approach to sustainability.

The contractor on the project, Justin Wallace of JD Wallace Contracting, said the choice to repurpose parts of an existing building is one that’s keeping waste out of the local landfill.

“Missouri State has a goal on this project to recycle as much, as much of the existing building as possible,” Wallace said. “So this was a really good fit for us.”

There are 17 landfills across the state of Missouri, and 10 of those are projected to be filled to capacity within the next 20 years.

MSU is setting an example for other institutions by finding innovative ways to reduce waste.

“Construction waste is somewhat of a liability,” said Wallace. “It either has to wind up in a landfill or we have to do something else with it. So it actually is kind of an economical decision for us to take the concrete, rebar, and different things like that.”

Crews saved all the concrete from the 50-year-old Temple Hall, which had been moved to a parking lot across the street. That concrete will be ground up and used as the base of the basement for the new addition to the multi-million dollar Roy Blunt Hall project.

“We’ve actually reincorporated it back into the project. So Temple Hall, what wasTemple Hall has historical significance, so taking the old building, not just throwing it in a landfill, but actually incorporating it back into the site has some intrinsic value to the university,” Wallace said.

“We’ll take the concrete and we’ll run it through a crusher and we’ll actually generate base, rock, gravel, just all sorts of different kinds of material that we can use under roads and sidewalks,” said Wallace.

This commitment to sustainability not only benefits the university but also helps alleviate potential strain on our state’s landfills.

“We’re estimating we saved about 2,000 tons of material from going into the landfill,” Wallace said.