We have long enjoyed a strong town-gown relationship.
From top to bottom, people at MSU work openly and regularly with city and county officials to coordinate our activities and ensure that we are jointly meeting the needs of our campus and the broader community.
Our strong relationships with city and county leaders came into focus over the last few weeks.
Braider facility supports emerging industry
The Greene County Commission allocated $1.455 million to partially fund the construction of a braider facility at the Roy Blunt Jordan Valley Innovation Center. This funding is an economic game changer for southwest Missouri.
The project matches university research with an industry partner to plant a state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing facility in an emerging industry right here in Greene County.
The funding from Greene County, along with a state MoExcels grant, will fund approximately 90% of the costs to construct the facility.
I want to thank Presiding Commissioner Bob Dixon, Commissioner Rusty MacLachlan and Commissioner John Russell for supporting this project.
I also want to thank County Administrator Chris Coulter and County Grant Administrator Lyle Foster (who is also a member of our faculty) for facilitating this funding.
Significance of Grand Street underpass project
Last night, Springfield City Council allocated $750,000 to partially fund the Grand Street underpass project.
We have a lot of exciting projects underway at the university.
- Renovations to Kampeter Hall and the construction of the Goodman Amphitheatre are near completion.
- We will begin work on Temple Hall in the fall.
- Advocacy work is underway to identify funds to renovate Cheek Hall.
To use these exciting new facilities, students, faculty, staff and visitors must be able to safely move from the 1,350 parking spots south of Grand Street to the campus amenities north of Grand. This makes the project to rebuild the Grand Street underpass as important as any of the other facility projects we have underway.
The City also realizes benefits from the project, because the underpass must be extended for the City to expand Grand Street. The project also includes significant sewer and storm sewer upgrades and improvements in the area.
Funding from the City of Springfield, combined with state funds designated for maintenance and repair, will fund approximately half of the project.
I want to thank Mayor Ken McClure and the members of City Council — Heather Hardinger, Craig Hosmer, Andrew Lear, Richard Ollis, Monica Horton, Abe McGull, Mike Schilling and Matthew Simpson — for supporting this project. I also want to thank City Manager Jason Gage and his staff for facilitating this funding.
Supporting the ASCEND program
The Howell County Commission has not yet completed its process for distributing federal ARPA funds.
Tonight we will formally request that the commissioners allocate funds for important priorities for the West Plains campus, including the ASCEND program, an initiative that seeks to provide support and services to college students with autism.
Our goal is to fully fund the ASCEND facility and startup costs for the program with federal, state and local funds.
We continue to advocate for this program, and preliminary indications are that our request has been well received by the Howell County Commission.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!