The University of Missouri-Kansas City on Friday will officially begin work on a new construction project — the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center.
The $14.8 million center, to go up on a site at the corner of Volker and Brookside boulevards, will serve UMKC business and engineering students, area schoolchildren and others.
UMKC raised $7.4 million of the funding for the center through private donations, and in May the state announced it would match the funds raised. Private dollars came from the Kauffman Foundation and the Robert W. Plaster Foundation, an educational foundation in Lebanon, Mo., that promotes free enterprise.
Lab and instructional space and state-of-the-art technology such as 3-D printers will be housed in the facility. It will be used by UMKC’s School of Computing and Engineering and its Henry W. Bloch School of Management as a laboratory, incubator and prototyping center.
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Schoolchildren will use the center through the KC STEM Alliance working on science, technology, engineering and math projects. It’s expected that UMKC students will interact with middle school and high school students working on projects at the center.