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University of Missouri

50-50 Chance

Mizzou proposes capital projects for state matching money.

A conceptual design shows the proposed applied learning center for the business college, which would house labs for marketing, finance and entrepreneurship students. Image courtesy of MU Campus Facilities.

A conceptual design shows the proposed applied learning center for the business college, which would house labs for marketing, finance and entrepreneurship students. Image courtesy of MU Campus Facilities.

When the Trulaske College of Business reached out to its alumni and friends with an urgent request and a big opportunity, they responded in a similarly big way.

In August 2012, the state established a higher education capital fund lawmakers can use to match 50 percent of funds raised for a higher education building project. Missouri’s Department of Higher Education created rules and a process for requesting the money, and the 2014 legislative session is the first opportunity for schools to apply.

When business Dean Joan Gabel and her colleagues went to alumni without drawings or blueprints — nothing but a concept — they raised $11.1 million in pledges in six weeks. If matched by the state, that would pay for a new $22.3 million applied learning center on the southeast corner of Rollins Road and Tiger Avenue.

“We have alumni who understand the value of not leaving money on the table,” Gabel says.

MU is asking the state for a total of $21.5 million under the 50-50 program. The other three 50-50 requests are:

• $6.1 million for Lafferre Hall renovations for the College of Engineering;

• $1.5 million for a teaching and research winery for the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; and

• $2.7 million for the planning phase of fine arts and music buildings for the College of Arts and Science.

There’s no money yet in the 50-50 fund — something Marty Oetting, MA ’92, director of governmental relations for University of Missouri System, hopes lawmakers will change during the current session, which runs through May.