The University of Missouri-Kansas City appears to have raised the $48 million needed to secure matching funds to build the long-discussed downtown campus for the Arts/Conservatory of Music and Dance.
Based on documents outlining appropriation requests for capital projects on the University of Missouri System’s four campuses, UMKC has acquired its portion of a dollar-for-dollar state funding match program.
The UMKC downtown campus project was part of a more than $200 million appropriation request that included construction and rehabilitation projects for all four of the statewide system’s campuses. It was presented during the university board of curators’ two-day meeting that began Thursday morning in Columbia. The board is scheduled to vote on the request Friday.
UMKC officials declined to comment about any recent private dollars the university may have received. But they said that when they have all the funds needed for the project, it will be announced at a celebration.
Brian Burnett, UM System vice president for finance and chief financial officer, told curators at Thursday’s meeting that UMKC chancellor Leo Morton has assured Burnett that UMKC was ready to apply for the state match portion by the June 30 deadline.
Burnett said the university system wanted private money ready for each of the system’s four 50/50 matching projects so when the state money became available, the campus projects were in line to go.
But first “the board must approve any capital projects before they go forward,” said John Fougere, spokesman for the university system. “Then we have to go to the legislature to request the matching funds, the state has to agree and then appropriate the funding.”
In March, UMKC announced that it was just $10 million shy of reaching its goal. At that time, they announced receiving a $3 million commitment toward the downtown campus for the arts from an anonymous donor plus a $1 million donation from the R. Crosby Kemper Charitable Trust and Foundation and a $500,000 donation from the Francis Family Foundation, contingent on the school receiving matching state funds.
UMKC said then that with $38 million raised it was committed to reaching its $48 million goal, through private donations, by June 30.
UMKC started raising funds for its portion of the $96 million project in 2013. It was jump-started with a $20 million gift from the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation. The plan calls for moving the university’s Conservatory of Music and Dance from the Volker campus to a downtown location bounded by Broadway, Central, 17th and 18th streets just south of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.