MU Receives $30 Million Gift, OK's Construction Plans

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COLUMBIA - The MU Board of Curators approved multiple construction projects in a regular meeting Tuesday. The meeting occurred before the University accepted a $30 million donation from the Kansas City Sports Trust.

The trust is a group whose purpose is to support the school's department of intercollegiate athletics. Tuesday's donation is the second time the trust has given to the school. In 2004, the group donated $10 million to the athletic department.

The $30 million gift adds on to a board-approved $72 million project to improve multiple athletic facilities. That $102 million project is the first stage of a $200 million Sports Park master plan, which was also approved by the board Tuesday.

The $102 million will include adding 6,000 seats to Memorial Stadium, as well as other upgrades to the concourse and concessions. The baseball and softball stadiums will also receive upgrades, and the tennis and golf programs will receive new facilities as well.

Aside from athletics, the board approved next year's budget which includes $25.6 million in cuts. The school will save $11.5 million from vacant or eliminated positions. By reducing and consolidating several programs, the school will save another $8.1 million.

The school is cutting research and other operational costs to save $4.4 million, and cutting management in financial aid will save another $1.6 million. 

The Vice President of Finance and Administration Nikki Krawlitz said the budget was "built with increases in net tuition and fee revenues... and with increased enrollment in mind."

Increased student enrollment growth led to the need for more student housing, and the board approved construction of a new residence hall between College and Virginia Avenues. The proposed five story building will cost $28.4 million and will have room for 330 residents.

The new building is expected to be completed by Fall of 2015.