The amount of state funding Missouri State University will receive for its Glass Hall project is no longer a question mark.
Gov. Jay Nixon, wrapping up his final days in office, visited the MSU campus Wednesday to announce the original $5 million amount earmarked for the project will come through, after all.
A portion of the funds, nearly $2 million, was withheld a few months ago.
Nixon, flanked by MSU President Clif Smart and Missouri Commissioner of Higher Education Zora Mulligan, announced the remaining $1.875 million in state funds will now flow to the project.
He also took the opportunity to tout, once again, the relationship he developed with the state’s public colleges and universities. Through agreements in recent years, the higher education institutions agreed to maintain relatively flat tuition in exchange for state funding increases.
“Through fiscal discipline and a growing the economy, we are able to make targeted investments in higher education so that Missouri colleges and universities don’t have to raise tuition,” said Nixon, in a release. “As a result, Missouri has seen a 36 percent increase in college graduates while leading nation in holding down tuition increases.
“We are proud to build on this progress by supporting this important project here at Missouri State University.”
The project is a $33.8 million overhaul and expansion of Glass Hall, home of MSU’s College of Business and many programs including accounting, marketing, management and international business.
The work includes a nearly 40,000-square-foot addition to the east side of the building, which will include the Robert Gourley Student Success Center. The space will include work rooms, an advising center, a career center and a simulation of the New York Stock Exchange.
The building’s public spaces, including corridors and restrooms, will also be renovated.
Construction work on Glass Hall is expected to wrap up this summer.
MSU officials found creative ways to fund the project, through a mix of private, university and matching state funds. If the full amount pledged by the state had not come through, MSU officials were faced with trying to fill the gap with additional donations or scaling back the project.
Citing a shift in state revenue projections following the General Assembly’s veto session, Nixon initially announced plans to withhold more than $24 million for ongoing education funding and more than $6 million for higher education capital projects.
Some of the withheld funds have been released. In addition to the Glass Hall funds, Nixon also announced Wednesday that the following education funds, once held back, will be allocated: