In June 2019 we began a master planning process for the College of Natural and Applied Sciences (CNAS). After months of discovery, analysis and option development, the final report was issued on Sept. 1, 2020.
The plan establishes three goals:
- Provide for the future of CNAS.
- Enable research.
- Increase visibility for science.
CNAS operations are spread across Temple Hall, Cheek Hall, Kemper Hall and King Street Annex. All four of these facilities need extensive work to meet the goals set forth above.
I am pleased to report that we have begun work to identify funding for the first critical CNAS project: an expansion and renovation of Temple Hall.
Temple Hall renovation
Temple Hall houses classrooms, labs, and offices to support the university’s biology, chemistry, geography, geology and other STEM programs.
Temple Hall was built in 1971 and has not been substantially remodeled since it was constructed. It is in critical need of maintenance and repair.
Moreover, MSU’s enrollment in the sciences has grown from 1,000 to 2,400 since Temple Hall was constructed. This includes a doubling of graduate enrollment in CNAS over the last 25 years.
Additional space is needed to meet CNAS’s educational and research needs.
The CNAS Master Plan proposes a 66,000 square foot, 4-story addition to Temple Hall. The plan also proposes to renovate 40,000 square feet of existing lab space and 48,000 square feet of existing classroom, office and common space in Temple Hall.
The Temple Hall addition will cost $40 million, and the renovation of existing space in Temple Hall will cost an additional $20 million.
I and other members of our team have begun to speak with state and federal lawmakers about this project.
- I met with Sen. Roy Blunt during the first week of April and discussed this project.
- Ryan DeBoef and Matt Morris testified about this project in Jefferson City last week at the invitation of the Missouri House Subcommittee on Federal Stimulus Spending.
- Yesterday we also submitted the Temple Hall project to Commissioner of Higher Education Zora Mulligan as MSU’s highest priority for federal stimulus appropriations.
- We are working with COPHE to submit the Temple Hall project directly to Gov. Mike Parson’s office as well.
The United States and the State of Missouri currently have access to unprecedented one-time funds. Our goal in the coming months is to work to match federal and state funds with private contributions and university reserves to fund this project.
Community Project Funding
MSU has a strong history of federal investment.
Over the past several weeks, a new federal funding opportunity has emerged. Through Community Project Funding requests, members of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate will soon have the ability to seek congressionally directed spending for high priority projects.
Given the limited nature of Community Project Funding in its first year, we have not yet submitted a formal federal appropriation request for the Temple Hall project. However, we have submitted requests for three smaller projects:
- A refractory composite component braider facility expansion that will be part of the Roy Blunt Jordan Valley Innovation Center.
- Expansion plans for the Darr Agricultural Center.
- A welding lab facility renovation project at the Broadway Building in West Plains.
Ozarks Transportation Organization (OTO) has also submitted a request for renovation of the Grand Street Underpass on our Springfield campus. We support this request and will advocate for it with our federal delegation.
We will continue to meet with our federal delegation and their staffs to advocate for these and other important university projects.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!