Monday, December 08, 2014

During Joplin stop, Nixon announces plans to complete bond issue for MSSU, Crowder

(From Gov. Jay Nixon)

During a visit Friday to Missouri Southern State University, Gov. Jay Nixon said he is committed to working with legislators to complete a strategic, fiscally responsible bond issuance that will make long-overdue investments in higher education in Missouri, including more than $7 million for repair and renovation at MSSU and Crowder College.

The Governor was at MSSU to tour Reynolds Hall, which houses the university’s biology, environmental health, physical sciences and mathematics programs. A bipartisan bonding proposal would provide $5.2 million to help renovate classroom space and science labs in order to meet increasing demand for students with degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

“Over the past six years, we’ve worked in a bi-partisan way to balance the budget and protect our AAA credit rating,” Gov. Nixon said. “With our AAA credit rating intact and our economy moving forward, now is the time to act on these long-deferred improvements – and to do so in a strategic and fiscally responsible way that will benefit our students and our economy. I thank members of the General Assembly for taking the first step by authorizing additional bonding capacity last year, and look forward to working with legislators in the upcoming session to get these much-needed projects underway.”

“Missouri Southern is committed to preparing students for the 21st century economy and that is why we identified these much-needed improvements at Reynolds Hall as our top priority,” said MSSU President Alan Marble. “With the increasing demand for employees skilled in the STEM fields, the need for up-to-date facilities is critical to our ability to recruit students and give them the skills today’s high-tech businesses need. We appreciate Governor Nixon and our representatives in the General Assembly for working collaboratively to make this investment that will yield tremendous returns for this institution, our students and the entire region.”

Last year, the Missouri General Assembly passed additional bonding capacity, authorizing up to $200 million in projects at community colleges and four-year institutions around the state. Both two- and four-year higher education institutions have now submitted project lists for this funding, placing priority upon those projects that address the most critical needs of their institution. Many of the projects identified by colleges and universities will improve facilities in the areas of science, math, engineering and technology, referred to as STEM fields.

Completed in 1967, Reynolds Hall was identified by MSSU as its top priority for repair and renovation. The coursework offered in the building is in high demand, as it provides prerequisites to nursing and allied health students or is part of a major with a large number of students. The proposed bond issuance would provide $5.2 million for the renovation of the first floor of Reynolds Hall, including classrooms and science labs, which are showing evidence of disrepair after 47 years of use.

At Crowder College, nearly $2 million will help renovate facilities in Neosho and Nevada, including classrooms, administrative offices and lab space.

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