Many college capital improvement projects put on hold have been given the go ahead by the Nixon Administration to move forward.
Five public universities were told by the Nixon Administration that planned capital improvements on their campuses had to be put on hold. Now, the governor’s office has given the green light to several of them.
"We would love to be able to say that we have the money in the MoHELA fund to complete projects. But unfortunately that’s not the case," says Scott Holste, a spokesman for the governor.
The Nixon Administration has completed a review of the MoHELA projects, formally known as the Lewis and Clark Initiative. Money from the sale of MoHELA assets has fallen more than $107 million short of expectations. Projects at Missouri State University in Springfield, the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg and Truman State University in Kirksville that had been suspended will now resume.
Other projects, most notably the proposed $31 million expansion of the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus, remain suspended.
Governor Nixon, as Attorney General, vocally opposed former Governor Blunt’s MoHELA program. Nixon stated the program diverted money away from MoHELA’s primary mission, providing low-interest student loans, and was based on uncertain funding. Still, as governor, Nixon is committed to seeing the Lewis and Clark Initiative projects through, according to Holste.
"But, the fact of the matter is, the previous administration had committed and proposed spending funds that just do not exist," says Holste.
Below is the news release from the governor’s office outlining the projects affected.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Gov. Jay Nixon announced today that his administration’s review of the MOHELA project list is complete. The review was needed because MOHELA has failed to make its payments to the state. The remaining balance on the MOHELA list proposed by the previous administration is $107,109,486 more than is currently in the MOHELA fund.
The projects which will be funded right away and the remaining balance on those projects are:
· Harris – Stowe State University – Child & Parent Education Center $9,252,803
· Linn State Technical College – Heavy Equipment Technology Building $4,393,526
· Lincoln University – Jason Hall $983,406
· Missouri Southern State University – Health Sciences Building $14,301,775
· Missouri State University – Jordon Valley Incubator $2,686,579
· Missouri Western State University – Agenstein Science & Math Halls, $25,112,770
· Northwest Missouri State University – Plant Biologics Center, $12,896,195
· Missouri University of Science & Technology – Engineering Building $1,138,249
· University of Missouri-Kansas City – Dental Equipment $249,075
· University of Missouri-Kansas City – Pharmacy and Nursing Building $9,487,485
· Community College Maintenance & Repair $790,171
· Missouri State University – Siceluff Hall $7,170,597
· University of Central Missouri – Morrow & Garrison Building $12,081,895
· Southeast Missouri State University – Autism Center $2,427,856
· University of Missouri-Hundley-Whaley Center $184,721
· University of Missouri – South Farms $2,395,651
· University of Missouri-Plant Science Building, Mexico (partial funding) $2,500,000
· Truman State University – Pershing Hall (partial funding) $10,000,000
The fund currently has a balance of $118,319,642 and is estimated to have a balance of $266,888 after the above projects are completed.
The projects that will be suspended until MOHELA makes additional payments or additional funding sources can be identified include:
· Southeast Missouri State University-Incubator · University of Missouri-St. Louis -Benton & Stadler Halls
· University of Missouri – Delta Research Center
· University of Missouri – Southwest Education & Outreach Center
· University of Missouri – Graves-Chapple Facility
· University of Missouri – Horticulture & Agroforestry Center
· University of Missouri – Wurdack Farm
· University of Missouri – Thompson Farm
· University of Missouri – Greenley Learning & Discovery Park
· University of Missouri – McCredie, Midwest Clayplan
· University of Missouri-Columbia- Ellis Fischel · Missouri State University – FREUP Phase 1