UMKC has nearly completed construction of the new $32 million Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise and Research Center. The impressive five story building will house the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering, though its doors are already open to some students.
The 57,800 square foot facility – described as a maker space – hosts an abundance of expensive research equipment, including $3 million worth of virtual reality hardware, an scanning electron microscope, a big data analytics lab, 3-D printing apparatus and a high-bay structural lab.
The Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise and Research Center stands on what used to be the stable house of the Scofield mansion, which was used as a maintenance building and machine shop before it was torn down. The high-tech facility sits on the corner of Rockhill Road. and E 51st Street.
Boxes are strewn around the second floor lobby while construction is ongoing inside the building. The structural lab 20 ton crane can be seen in the background.
Students looking out of the north side of Flarsheim Hall can spot the KC Roos and School of Computing and Engineering logo plastered on the roof on the westernmost section of the building.
There is a stark change between where Flarsheim Hall ends, on the right, and where the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise and Research Center begins, on the left. The modern design is consistent throughout the new building, contrasted with the dated decorations in most other campus buildings.
Work stations filled a north-facing classroom. Inside the building there is a plethora of new equipment and hardware currently filling rooms.
The new School of Engineering and Computing building was built adjacent to Flarsheim Hall. The exterior of the latter building is exposed in the new research center.
Unopened boxes of equipment occupy hallways and classrooms in every floor of the building.
Students can see a bright UMKC logo on the first floor of the building, where construction is still ongoing.