UMKC seeks millions of dollars for construction

Sunday, July 21, 2013 | 4:45 p.m. CDT

KANSAS CITY — The University of Missouri-Kansas City has asked the state to provide more than $95 million toward its campus construction projects.

University curators on Friday approved requesting those funds, as well as millions of dollars more in state money for 10 other building and renovation projects proposed by the other University of Missouri system schools in Columbia, St. Louis and Rolla, The Kansas City Star reported.

The funding requests are part of a system-wide list of capital improvement projects, some of which have been waiting years for state money, said Bob Simmons, associate vice chancellor at UMKC. He estimated the need totals about $300 million at UMKC.

"Every building on this campus constructed before 1990 needs work, repairs and renovations," Simmons said.

Wayne Goode, chairman of the Board of Curators, said it has been nearly a decade since the state has allocated money toward capital improvements on any of the campuses.

"The system currently has a $1.3 billion backlog in renovation and repair," according to a report in Friday's curators' meeting information.

Among the requests from UMKC are $48 million in state support for renovating the School of Medicine and a Health Science education building. The total cost of that project would be $54.5 million, and the university is raising $6 million of that in private funds.

UMKC also wants the state to provide about 75 percent of the $20 million needed for the science education building and about $24 million for a $30.6 million School of Dentistry building addition and renovation.

Under 2012 legislation, in which the state offers to match the money a school raises for capital improvement, UMKC also hopes to build a $15 million, three- or four-story Free Enterprise Center. UMKC has $7.5 million to put toward the building and hopes the state will contribute the other half.

Simmons said for any of the proposed projects, "ultimately it is the legislature deciding what to fund."

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