Mizzou Campus Tour with Justin Britt and James Franklin

Quarterback James Franklin and offensive lineman Justin Britt took some time out of their busy lives as student-athletes to give us a tour of the beautiful University of Missouri campus.

The tour departed from the Mizzou Athletics Training Complex (MATC), the daily home of the Tiger football program. The MATC, which opened in July 2008 at a cost of $16 million, is over 101,000 square feet and houses everything a student-athlete needs, from a state-of-the-art weight room and locker room, to a dining hall to study rooms. It is one of the best comprehensive training facilities in the nation.

To get from the MATC to campus, Franklin and Britt drove across the Mizzou Pedestrian Bridge, where Tiger Walk, one of Mizzou’s longest standing traditions, takes place. Before every home game, players and coaches are greeted on this bridge by thousands of fans, friends, family and cheerleaders on their way to Faurot Field.

The next stop is the community where most football players live during their first year on campus. The South, North and Central residence halls opened in 2006, and provide a suite-style living environment that emphasizes academic success along with multiple opportunities for social interaction.

On their way from the dorms to the center of campus, the duo made a quick stop at Stankowski Field. The facility includes three synthetic turf fields that can be used for a variety of recreational and leisure activities. It used to be the location of the original Mizzou football field, where the first ever homecoming game was played in 1911. Now it is home to multiple intramural and club sports.

Their next trip is to Cornell Hall, home to the prestigious Robert J. Trulaske College of Business. The beautiful, $28 million, neo-Georgian style building is 150,000 square feet. It has 17 classrooms, an auditorium, a lecture hall, breakout rooms, and wall-to-wall WiFi.

The Mizzou golf cart then came to a screeching halt at Tiger Plaza. The Plaza’s most prominent feature is the 1,200-pound Tiger that was sculpted by world-renowned artist Forest Hart. Designed as a meeting place for alumni, students, faculty, staff and visitors, Tiger Plaza symbolizes the pride that everyone in the community feels for Mizzou.

Next to Tiger Plaza is the MU Student Center. With nearly 230,000 square feet of space, the Student Center offers plenty of places to spread out and chill, as well as a mini-city of resources. Inside the $64 million palace are five eateries, the MU bookstore, a bank, a convenience store, pool tables, a giant study/nap lounge equipped with couches and a fireplace, and so much more.

After the student center, the football players met up at the Mizzou Rec Center. Renovated in 2005, the world-class facility has three weight rooms, a cardio theater, nine basketball courts, indoor and outdoor volleyball courts, a rock-climbing wall, racquetball courts, an Olympic-sized pool, a lazy river, a steam room and sauna, a spa, fitness studios, and an indoor track. Sports Illustrated recognized it as the best recreational center in the country in 2005, and greatist.com ranked the Mizzou Rec as the fifth most innovative gym in the U.S.

Their next stop is Memorial Union. The bell tower and archway are tributes to Mizzou students and alumni who lost their lives during World War I, and the union building serves as a community center for the university by providing meeting rooms, technology centers, dining facilities, and playing host to many special events.

After driving through much of campus, Franklin and Britt took a detour through downtown Columbia, which is located just outside of Francis Quadrangle. On the way they pass Shakespeare’s Pizza, which was voted the “best college hangout” in America by Good Morning America.

The iconic columns are the final destination on their MU campus tour. The columns, which are the second most photographed landmark in the state of Missouri, once supported the portico of Academic Hall, the first building erected at the university. On Jan, 9, 1892, Academic Hall was destroyed by fire and the columns were all that remained. More than 100 years later, they remain standing as the focal point of the University of Missouri campus.