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$21.5 Million Upgrade Coming for Chemistry, Biology Labs

State funds to cover much of the cost

The University of Missouri-Kansas City is launching a $21.5 million renovation and modernization project for the university’s primary biology and chemistry teaching laboratories.

Gov. Jay Nixon today signed a package of bills that included about $160 million in bond funds for use on college and university projects around the state. The legislation includes $18.3 million for the laboratory renovations at UMKC’s Spencer Chemistry Building and Biological Sciences Building. The total project cost will be $21.5 million.

The buildings were originally constructed in 1968 and the laboratories have not been renovated or updated since the 1980s. These labs serve Chemistry and Biological Sciences undergraduate and graduate students, as well as those who go on to professional schools or graduate studies in medical, dental, pharmacy, nursing, law, social work, environmental science, optometry, physical therapy and veterinary programs. They also serve as part of the teaching mission for UMKC’s Pharmacy, Medicine and Nursing Programs.

The project will renovate approximately 75,000 square feet of laboratory space, providing state-of-the-art, core teaching laboratory spaces for sciences on UMKC’s Volker Campus that meet current lab standards and encourage collaborative learning. National level specialists in scientific laboratory design and construction will be involved, and both buildings will remain open during the duration of the project, which is expected to be completed in July 2018.

“We are extremely pleased that Governor Nixon has signed the capital improvement bills passed by the legislature that will fund critically important renovation projects on our four campuses,” said John Fougere, spokesman for the University of Missouri System. “These projects, which represent the strong partnership between the university and the State of Missouri, will help us address what is a $1.3 billion backlog in maintenance and repair across the UM System and will help us educate the additional STEM graduates that will be crucial to the highly-technical, 21st Century Missouri economy.”


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