Private philanthropy funds half of UM system’s largest new capital project

(The Center Square) – The largest of five new capital projects throughout the University of Missouri system will be funded equally by gifts and campus reserves.

The Board of Curators unanimously approved $73 million for the construction of four projects at the flagship campus in Columbia and a welcome center at the Missouri University of Science and Technology (S&T) at Rolla.

The projected cost of the 30,000-square-foot building at S&T will be $27.75 million and funded equally by campus reserves and private donations. The project will be connected to a new 50,000-square-foot Innovation Laboratory, funded by private gifts and a $300 million gift from June and Fred Kummer, who graduated from the school in 1955 with a civil engineering degree. Kummer founded HBE Corp., a leader in the design and construction of health care facilities and is based in St. Louis. He also founded the Adam’s Mark Hotels and Resorts.

The Innovation Lab is scheduled to be completed this fall, and the Welcome Center in December 2024.

Mo Dehghani, chancellor of Missouri S&T, said in a statement the project would “provide an iconic and vibrant destination to greet and orient prospective students to the campus. It will be home to inspiring presentation spaces and interactive galleries and exhibits that will portray the campus as a forward-looking, innovation-focused destination for future students.”

The four projects at the University of Missouri-Columbia will expand the school’s research capabilities. They are:

University of Missouri Research Reactor: A 40,000-square-foot addition will expand the existing facility at a cost of $20 million, funded by state appropriations. The facility’s multidisciplinary research and testing laboratories will offer more resources to assist in discovery of new drugs.

Roy Blunt NextGen Precision Health Building: A fourth-floor build-out will add approximately 18,200-square feet of research laboratories and office space at a cost of $16.5 million, funded by state appropriations.

MU Lottes Health Science Library: The building renovation will consolidate, modernize and renovate library space to connect academic and research areas of the medical science complex. The $8.5 million project will be funded equally by MU Health Care and the School of Medicine.

Pershing Commons for Student Health Center: The center will be relocated to the MU Student Health Center from the University Physicians Medical Building to be more convenient for students. The budget of $10.9 million will be funded by MU Health Care ($8.8 million) and School of Medicine reserves ($2.1 million). Pediatric and women’s health clinics will be moved to the former student health center location.

“The important research we conduct at our universities improves the lives of people in Missouri and beyond,” Mun Choi, President of the University of Missouri, said in a statement. “Cutting-edge research needs cutting-edge facilities, and the investments we make today will expand our research enterprise to conduct even more life-saving research.”

Featured photo courtesy of Missouri University of Science and Technology at Rolla

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