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President Nietzel Purposes Purchasing of Government Property

Missouri State University brought its proposal to purchase five buildings in the downtown center city area for $450,000 to Springfield City Council Monday night. KSMU's Erika Bame reports.

If the university acquires these buildings, they'll become part of the Jordan Valley Innovation Center also known as JVIC, which focuses on research.

Missouri State University President Dr. Michael Nietzel spoke to council about the impact this purchase agreement could have on Springfield.

"We think that the public revenue opportunities from this proposal, the retention of talent, that it affords us at the university and for all of Springfield, Greene-County and the Ozarks and the attraction of world class companies. Those are three significant opportunities for us to pursue on your behalf and on the behalf of everybody here in this community."

JVIC partners with businesses that support research.

One kind of research at JVIC is medical research, something of interest to area hospitals like St. John's.

Dr. Roger Huckfelt is the medical director for St. John's Medical Research Institute and he says this project will work with what he calls translation research.

"Translation research is nothing more than a physician or a nurse within our institution can come to me as the medical director and say Dr. we have a problem. Here's the problem and currently on the market today there isn't an answer to this problem. So it's problems that we see with patients here in our own community."

University administrators say an expanded Jordan Valley Innovation Center will provide new research facilities as well as jobs for students who at one point might have had to move elsewhere.

Erin Parish is originally from Willard and worked with the JVIC program throughout her undergraduate and masters degree programs.

She says JVIC gave her more than just a textbook to follow.

"And it really gave me the opportunity as a student to see opportunities and see research being done that I wouldn't have gotten in the classrooms. So it gave me this outside experience that I wouldn't have had otherwise."

Parish stayed in Springfield after she graduated and has a job at JVIC.

Two of the JVIC buildings have already opened for students with one more facility opening for the fall semester.

City Council will vote on whether to sell the properties to Missouri State University in two weeks.

For KSMU News I'm Erika Brame.