In April I told you about our plans to construct an addition to and renovation of Temple Hall. Today I am pleased to report that we are making progress on those plans.
Last week the Board of Governors approved a $4.1 million contract with BNIM to design the first two phases of the project. The first phase envisions a 65,000 to 90,000 square foot addition that will house research laboratories.
The second phase will renovate the existing building. Combined, the two phases will cost at least $60 million.
Design will occur this fall and continue through next year. Work is scheduled to begin on the project in fall 2022.
We are using university reserves to fund this design work. Meanwhile, we continue to advocate for funding for the project.
Advocating for federal funding
Sen. Roy Blunt was on campus to tour Temple Hall and meet with faculty last week. Sen. Blunt is leveraging the congressionally directed spending process in Washington, D.C. to advocate for federal appropriations to fund the project.
Our government relations team and I have worked closely with Sen. Blunt and his staff on this process.
Sen. Blunt has a strong affinity for Missouri State University. He is a proud alum of MSU, graduating with a master’s degree in history in 1972.
He was born and raised on a farm about 40 miles from the university. In more recent years, Sen. Blunt has lived just a few blocks north of campus and can regularly be found at various campus events and activities.
Sen. Blunt has actively supported many of our operations at Missouri State University. Many of the university’s grants and external contracts are thanks, in whole or in part, to Sen. Blunt’s work.
Beyond funding, he has worked tirelessly to promote our faculty, staff and students domestically and abroad. This work is exemplified by his decision, as chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, to invite the MSU Chorale to perform at the inaugural ceremony for the 45th president of the United States.
In addition to his strong support for MSU, Sen. Blunt has been a fierce advocate for higher education and the sciences.
Sen. Blunt is the top Republican on the Senate appropriations subcommittee that funds the Department of Education as well as Health and Human Services. In that role, he has prioritized funding for the National Institutes of Health.
Under Sen. Blunt’s leadership, NIH funding increased 43% — $12.85 billion — over the last six years. He also championed funding increases for STEM and computer science education, apprenticeship programs, TRIO, and the Pell Grant program, including support for year-round Pell.
I have had the pleasure of working with Sen. Blunt throughout my presidency. Whenever I have called upon Sen. Blunt for help, he has zealously and eagerly taken up our cause. I am glad to call him a friend.
Seeking state support
In addition to federal funding, we are advocating for state funding to support the project.
In September Gov. Mike Parson requested proposals for matching capital to fund transformational higher education projects. We submitted a request for funds to expand our STEM facilities on campus.
Like Sen. Blunt, Gov. Parson has loyally supported MSU and championed the cause of higher education and workforce development.
We are grateful to have partners like Gov. Parson, Sen. Lincoln Hough, and others in Jefferson City to advocate on our behalf. Our elected officials are well aware of our campus needs, and they work tirelessly to position Missouri State University for success as funding decisions are made.
Similar to the federal funding process, we will not know the fate of state appropriations for several months.
In the meantime, we will press forward with designing the Temple Hall project to ensure that it is shovel-ready as funding decisions are made.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!
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