About two dozen members of the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District Business Roundtable recently toured the district’s new Missouri Innovation Campus, which will open later this summer near Tudor and Ward roads.
The 35,000-square-foot building is being financed through a partnership between the district and the University of Central Missouri. The school district’s portion is funded by a 2015 bond issue approved by close to 80 percent of R-7 voters. The district will own the facility and pay roughly 40 percent of its cost. The university is paying the remainder through a lease agreement.
The Missouri Innovation Campus building will house the school district’s Summit Technology Academy and the University of Central Missouri-Lee’s Summit, which are moving from leased space, as well as the Missouri Innovation Campus program — a progressive collaboration between the school district, Metropolitan Community College and the University of Central Missouri. Established in 2012, the nationally recognized program accelerates the time it takes students to complete a four-year degree, significantly reducing college debt and providing skills that are highly sought after by business.
Summit Technology Academy, established in 1999 by the R-7 School District, prepares students from several school districts for careers in engineering, computer science, health care and creative science. UCM-Lee’s Summit is the university’s main off-campus learning facility, offering graduate- and undergraduate-level completion programs to Kansas City area students.
The two-story Missouri Innovation Campus is designed so that Lee’s Summit R-7 and the University of Central Missouri will share interior learning and conference spaces as well as parking — saving money for both organizations.