MU hosts NextGen Precision Health Institute virtual topping off ceremony

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COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri is hosting a virtual topping off ceremony to celebrate the placement of the final steel beam atop the NextGen Precision Health Institute. 

In June 2019, the NextGen Precision Health Initiative launched, estimating a total cost of $220.8 million. The facility's estimated finish date is Oct. 19, 2021.

UM System officials tout the new building as a central facility where new health initiatives can take place. It is supposed to help accelerate medical breakthroughs.

UM System President Mun Choi has previously vowed the facility construction alone will bring 3,400 jobs and $472 million in revenue to Missouri. Those projections are mostly in line with economic projections, according to the Columbia Missourian

Almost exactly one year ago, Columbia mayor Brian Treece said the new building will create hundreds of jobs.

"Researchers that are located here, that want to move here," Treece said at the time. "They bring their spouses here and that's great for Columbia because its gonna be a destination that people want to move to because they want to work here."

The investment in the building's future continues as the UM System and MU wrestles with budget cuts amidst shrinking state funding and the coronavirus pandemic.

In virtual town halls this spring, Choi supported continuing the NextGen investments. He spoke of the importance of looking toward the future impact of the building.

Earlier this month, Choi addressed hundreds of positions being removed from the UM system as a result of budget cuts for the upcoming fiscal year. In our previous reporting, Choi said the budget changes are necessary in order for the system to become more efficient and less redundant as it faces its current financial crisis. 

There is a virtual livestream at 11:30 a.m. to watch the ceremony.