Kaiser Electric crews started working February 1 on a long-awaited project to renovate the 47-year-old Mark Twain residence hall and Mark Twain Market at the University of Missouri – Columbia.

Kaiser Electric is providing all of the new electrical wiring, lighting, branch circuiting, data and communication service, and fire alarm wiring on both projects. The general contractor on the project is River City Construction, Ashland, Mo.

Plans for the seven-story hall, which closed in December, include a gut-renovation of the main desk area, restrooms, student quarters, lower level spaces and main lounge, plus relocation of the entrance, the addition of study rooms throughout, restoration of the exterior façade and replacement of the windows and central air conditioning and heating units. Upon completion of the project, the facility will house 372 residents.

Renovations to the two-story Mark Twain Market dining hall, which is located adjacent and connected to Mark Twain Hall, include a new roof, updated finishes, the addition of restrooms and expansion of the seating area and refrigerated, frozen, dry storage and receiving areas. As a result of the dining hall expansion, Mark Twain Hall’s in-ground swimming pool will be removed. Mark Twain Market will close in May 2012 and is expected to re-open in August 2013 when renovations to the residence and dining halls are expected to be complete.

The total cost for the renovations is approx. $21.7 million, which includes approx. $3.1 million in funding from Campus Dining Services to complete the Mark Twain Market renovations. The University of Missouri system Board of Curators approved an $18.6 million bond in November 2010 to renovate Mark Twain residence hall.