MSSU plans to open a campus downtown

The plan to open a Missouri Southern campus in downtown Joplin could take the next step tonight.

An old library could soon be a new school, depending on how the Joplin city council votes.

Joplin Mayor Mike Seibert: "Long term impact for downtown is just going to be incredible.”

Joplin Mayor Mike Seibert sees a lot of potential good if it is a yes vote to donate the unused city building to Missouri Southern.

Joplin Mayor Mike Seibert: "Number one investment in the building, the ability of the group that is looking to come here, and the overall impact."

He says that would save the city at least 70 thousand dollars a year in maintenance and then there's the estimated $8 - 10 million the university would spend in renovations. Dr. Brad Hodson with MSSU says a yes vote would mean fundraising could begin next month. The university is narrowing down which department would best fit the satellite campus.

Brad Hodson, MSSU: "Being downtown does have its opportunity and challenges; so each of the departments that are considering that opportunity are being asked to look at can they be somewhat self sufficient downtown - would they be able to add economic, and cultural and academic value to downtown?"

He adds the project is a great way to reconnect with the university's downtown roots when it first opened just blocks away from the proposed project.

Brad Hodson, MSSU: "In the heart of the city is a great opportunity for us. It's an opportunity for us to have visibility in downtown that we haven't had in 50 years."

The council is expected to vote at its meeting tonight at city hall.


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