MO Senate Gives Initial OK to College Construction Plan
Jefferson City, MO – A plan to borrow money for university construction projects gained preliminary Senate approval on Wednesday.
It's a plan to sell roughly $372 million in bonds to fund construction projects at all the state-run colleges and universities.
Backers say the goal is to help Missouri become a national center of life sciences research. The term 'life science' covers things from health and medicine to environmental and agricultural issues.
Originally, the measure would have authorized just $190 million in bonds, all for projects in the University of Missouri system. But it was expanded to cover projects at every higher education institution.
The bill needs another Senate vote to move to the House. A separate measure describing specific projects awaits debate in the Senate. If approved, the plan would fund the following projects:
- UM-St. Louis would get $35 million to help renovate a science complex.
- Harris-Stowe would get $8.6 million to help build an $11.4 million early childhood and parent education center.
- The state's 18 community colleges will share more than 22.5 million. Each college would have to match 25% of the total cost in local funds, and would need to offer project proposals by January.
Other projects around the state included in the proposal:
- Central Missouri State would get $6.7 million from the state to help fund a $9 million project to renovate and repair classrooms, labs and other health facilities.
- Lincoln University would get $2.3 million towards $3 million to design and construct a building for using biotechnology in agriculture and alternative crops.
- Linn State Technical College would get $8.3 million from the state to help construct a building for heavy equipment technology and auto collision repair. The entire project is estimated at $11.1 million.
- Missouri Southern would get $11.1 million from the state to help construct a $15.2 million health sciences building.
- Missouri Western would get $24.2 million to renovate and expand science and math buildings; the entire project would cost $32.2 million.
- Northwest Missouri State would get $22.4 million towards a needed $29.9 million to design and construct a building for using biotechnology in agriculture and alternative crops.
- Southeast Missouri State would get $17.5 million from the state towards a $23.4 million project to renovate labs and classrooms and update infrastructure in various science departments.
- Southwest Missouri State would get $25.6 million to construct a public health building, which will cost an estimated total of $34.2 million.
- Truman State would get $16.4 million to build reading areas, computer and other labs in nursing and other science programs. Total project cost is estimated at $21.8 million.
- UM-Columbia would get the most state money of any school, $90.7 million, for two projects. One would renovate research center and other facilities of the engineering program; the other would construct a health sciences building to bring together various research programs. The building would cost a total of $175 million; $75 million would come from state.
- UM-Kansas City would get $40.1 million from the state to help build a $53.5 million health sciences building for research in neuroscience, drug development and other areas. UMKC would also get $8.6 million towards a project to finish space within a health sciences building for classrooms and labs for pharmacy, nursing and other health programs.
- UM-Rolla would get $17.5 million from the state towards a $23.4 million project to renovate engineering facilities, including mechanical and aerospace.