Welcome Back: Construction Updates

By , August 25, 2015 9:17 am

Construction UpdateNews on the construction front:

$21.5 Million Upgrade Coming for Chemistry and Biology Labs

UMKC is launching a $21.5 million renovation and modernization project for its primary biology and chemistry teaching laboratories.

Gov. Nixon signed a package of bills that included about $160 million in bond funds for use on college and university projects around the state, including $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. Read more.

51 Oak project featuring Whole Foods Market kicks off

Officials from UMKC, Whole Foods Market, City of Kansas City, Van Trust Real Estate, and neighborhood organizations came together June 30 to break bread in celebration of the start of construction of the 51 Oak Project, a new development on the UMKC campus that will include the new grocery market, as well as a new UMKC Student Health and Counseling Center, 170 market-rate apartments and a six-story parking garage with 445 spaces.

The project site, at 51st and Oak streets, is directly west of the UMKC Administrative Center building. It will replace a parking lot and an administrative annex building currently on the site; the historic clubhouse of the Kansas City Young Matrons, built in 1936, will be lifted and moved to a new site near 52nd and Cherry streets.

The ground floor of the three-acre project, south of E. 51st Street between Brookside Boulevard and Oak Street, will feature a 42,000-sq.-ft. Whole Foods Market grocery store. An 11,000-sq.-ft. UMKC Student Health and Counseling Center will be located on the second level, with five stories of apartments and parking above that. Read more.

Free Enterprise Center

Gov. Jay Nixon announced state matching funds to build UMKC’s $14.8 million Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center. The center, a prototyping and product development hub, will be available to entrepreneurs, local industry and high school and college students as they pursue entrepreneurial ventures. The building will primarily serve two of the university’s fastest-growing academic units, the School of Computing and Engineering and the Henry W. Bloch School of Management.

“Continuing to strengthen the business team here (at UMKC) is critical” to the state’s progress, Nixon said. “”Entrepreneurship is essential to whatever you’re studying.”

He concluded by thanking the UMKC faculty for their service to both students and the broader community, and promised students that Missouri colleges are increasing academic rigor as well as affordability. Read more.

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