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State funding to help Missouri State University complete repairs and renovations

Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 10:31 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Some much needed repairs and maintenance at Missouri State University will now get done thanks, in part, to state funding.

University officials say they need about $106 million for repairs and maintenance.

Their budget was slashed by 75 percent due to the pandemic. This made repairs and renovations impossible.

Earlier this month Governor Mike Parson announced that he was releasing more than $68 million to colleges and universities across the state. MSU will receive a little more than $8.4 million. The money will be used on some of those priority projects.

Some students say that the Grand Street Underpass is a one of those priority projects.

Alyssa Gaul said, “It’s unsafe to walk alone a lot of the time.”

“It can be kind of sketch during the evening hours,” said Steven Horn.

The Grand Street Underpass has connected students to campus for decades.

“I take this tunnel practically everyday,” said Horn.

Some students say they worry about their safety.

“Part of it is the visibility. You can’t really see what’s going on up above either side. I do kind of have to keep my head on a swivel,” explained Horn.

The 35 year-old passage way is getting a $3.5 million upgrade.

Vice President for Administrative Services for MSU, Matt Morris said, “This project is going to allow us to build a ramp that goes down within the tunnel, an elevator on the other side. Thus addressing ADA concerns, needs as well as just security safety component there as well.”

Other projects include structural improvements to Kampeter Hall and buildings at Brick City downtown.

“The university is also contributing funds so we can maximize the jobs. While we’ve got things tore up let’s go ahead and dig into making improvements to the facilities as well,” explained Morris.

School officials say these improvements are long over due.

“Really excited to begin tackling that 106-million dollar list of deferred maintenance. We make advancements on our list but it’s slow going. When you get $8.4 million dollar that certainly helps you whittle things away at a much faster pace,” said Morris.

“So many students use this tunnel. That’s the commuter lot, the main parking lot that students use. I think this tunnel, putting money into it, is a great use of that,” said Gaul.

More than a half million dollars will be spent on the West Plains campus to help improve the Broadway Welding Lab.

Construction on these projects could start as soon as this year.

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