The new UMKC conservatory building may face some funding challenges—it is estimated the project will cost about $100 million.
Chancellor Mauli Agrawal stated the university will not foot the bill out of its own budget. Instead, the necessary funding will be split 50/50 between donors and the Missouri state government.
At this time, the status of donations for the construction of the building is largely unknown. Money from the state government, however, is out of reach for the near future.
Agrawal acknowledged this, stating “Looking at state resources right now, getting anything out of this year’s budget most likely is not going to happen.”
This is further confirmed by the Associated Students of University of Missouri (ASUM), a campus organization which sends students to Jefferson City to lobby for university issues in the legislature.
“Missouri ranks 45th in the nation in higher education funding per capita, and part of our work consists of reminding state lawmakers that there are students in pain because of their inability to adequately fund universities,” said UMKC student and ASUM leader Brandon Henderson.
According to Henderson, there are many other institutions in Missouri that are underfunded, and higher education is not a higher priority for the current leadership in the Missouri General Assembly.
“ASUM has not been successful in persuading lawmakers to approve funding for the conservatory,” said Henderson.
Without the $50 million from the state government and donation numbers unknown, the future of the new conservatory building in 2019 is unclear.
Agrawal stated that a “rough rendition” of the new building could come in the next couple months. However, with a lack of the necessary capital, construction could be a long way off.
After the Conservatory of Music and Dance’s current merger with the theatre department, more students than ever will be anticipating this date.