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Covering state lawmakers, bills, and policy emerging from Jefferson City.

Nixon, Area Lawmakers Seek Campus Improvements in 2015

Bailey Wiles

The potential renovation at MSU would come as part of a bond issuance Nixon says he hopes to work with legislators on to invest in higher education.

Nixon was joined by university President Clif Smart and several area lawmakers, including state senators Bob Dixon, David Sater and Jay Wasson, and by state Rep. Lincoln Hough.

Nixon says recent budget belt-tightening has helped Missouri weather the recession better than most, but has also resulted in a backlog of needed projects at schools across the state.

“So last year, the legislator worked in a bi-partisan way to do something about it, passing a bill that provided additional bonding capacity authorizing up to $200 million in repair and renovation projects at community colleges and four year institutions across our great state,” Nixon said.

This was just the first step, he noted. Approval of a possible bond issuance during the next legislative session could pave the way for $19 million in repair and renovation projects at MSU.

$7.6 million of those funds would go toward Ellis Hall, which would go toward making recital halls more accessible to those with disabilities, installing a fire suppression system, and modernizing classrooms and practice areas. Other projects include $9.6 million in renovations at Hill Hall, which was constructed in 1924 and houses the Department of Psychology and the College of Education.

“It will be nice to see hard hats on our college campuses in addition to graduation caps on this renovation and repair front,” Nixon said.  

Nixon hopes to move forward quickly when the legislative session begins in January to begin completing these projects.