Government & Politics

Bonds for UMKC downtown arts campus win approval from House, now go to Senate

The UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance would be built on the western edge of the Crossroads Arts District, just south of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
The UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance would be built on the western edge of the Crossroads Arts District, just south of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

Legislation authorizing $48 million in state bonds to help pay for the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s downtown arts campus won overwhelming approval Tuesday in the Missouri House.

The House voted 117-39 in favor of the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Noel Shull of Kansas City. It now goes to the Senate.

The state money would be used to match $48 million in pledged private donations, led by $20 million from Julia Irene Kauffman. The money would build a new home for the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance on the western edge of the Crossroads Arts District, just south of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

Obtaining state funding is a major priority for Kansas City political and business leaders, who see the arts campus as a boon to both the university and the downtown community.

If approved by the Senate, funding for the project would be spread over 10 years, costing the state roughly $5.5 million a year.

Its future in the Senate remains uncertain with lawmakers facing a massive budget shortfall this year.

Jason Hancock: 573-634-3565, @J_Hancock

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