MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS
MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY
JOINT MEETING WITH THE SPRINGFIELD CITY COUNCIL
MAY 16, 2013
1. Attendance --- Those governors attending this joint meeting with the City Council of Springfield, Missouri included Mr. Steven Bough, Mr. Joe Carmichael, Ms. Carrie Carroll, Mr. Steve Hoven, Ms. Paige Jenkins, Mr. Orvin Kimbrough, and Ms. Cathy Smith. The meeting was held in Room 1001 of the Plaster Center for Free Enterprise and Business Development, 405 North Jefferson, Springfield, Mo.
2. Welcoming Remarks --- Mr. Orv Kimbrough, Chair of the Board of Governors, welcomed everyone to this joint meeting and asked Ms. Carrie Carroll to make a few opening remarks. Ms. Carroll, governor from Jefferson City, remarked that in addition to being a fairly new board member for Missouri State, she also serves on the City Council of Jefferson City. She is very impressed with the cooperation shown between the City of Springfield and the University and how well they seem to work together. President Clif Smart also welcomed everyone to this meeting and asked Mayor Bob Stephens to make some opening remarks. Mayor Stephens remarked that he is very appreciative of the great partner that Missouri State University has been in growing its campus to the northwest. This movement has brought economy to downtown Springfield and has been the main thrust behind the revitalization of downtown Springfield.
3. IDEA Commons: A University—Community Partnership --- Dr. Jim Baker, Vice President for Research and Economic Development and International Programs, then made a presentation on IDEA Commons, which is Missouri State University’s vision and commitment to create an urban, innovation park that is blended with residential, retail, commercial, and entertainment facilities and supported by multidisciplinary university programs. IDEA Commons brings together Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship, and the Arts; and is an example of how the university continues to be engaged in promoting the community’s livability and economic success. In looking at MSU’s commitment to the center city in phases, Phase 1 includes some University buildings and University leases that have been around for several years. Phase 2 was the University’s 2005 acquisition of the old MFA Feed Mill from the City and renovating it with $22 million in federal and private funds to become the Roy Blunt Jordan Valley Innovation Center (JVIC). Phase 3 is the actual launch of IDEA Commons. It includes: 1) the University’s purchase of five city properties; 2) the purchase of the Willow Brook Foods processing plant, which has been renovated into this facility; 3) the University’s leasing of buildings in Brick City; and 4) an expansion of JVIC.
Dr. Baker indicated that IDEA Commons started with a target area of 44 acres but the City asked if it could be expanded to 88 acres. Besides the anchors of JVIC, Brick City, and the Plaster Center for Free Enterprise and Business Development, other entities located in IDEA Commons include the Missouri Crime Lab, Jordan Valley Community Health Center, the Taylor-Martin Companies, the Marlin Company, and several residential structures. Brick City includes the University’s entire Art & Design Department, the Marlin Company, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City PharmD Program. The Plaster Center includes the eFactory (business incubator), the Small Business and Technology Development Center, the Cooperative Engineering Program with Missouri University of Science and Technology, the University’s printing and postal departments, and 30,000 sq. ft. for future expansion.
Mr. Greg Burris, City Manager of Springfield, next presented to the group and commented that you can’t find a better relationship between a city, a utility, and a university in the State of Missouri than what we have in Springfield. He added that the City has made about $1.5 million in infrastructure improvements in IDEA Commons in the form of streetscapes, lighting, and landscaping. He next reported on the Renew Jordan Creek project that has just begun. Much of Jordan Creek was buried 75 years ago, including a 2/3-mile box culvert under downtown. With increased new development, the Jordan Creek corridor experienced flood damage losses resulting in lower property values and decreased development potential. The Jordan Creek Flood Risk Management Study, jointly funded by the City of Springfield and the Army Corps of Engineers, was completed in 2013. The goal is to daylight some of the creek through much of the downtown area into a linear recreational greenway to reduce flood damages and increase development opportunities. Anticipated cost of the entire project is $60 million with the downtown section estimated at $40 million. The funding source is uncertain for the downtown section. This project runs west as the entrance to West Meadows, part of the Jordan Valley Park identified in the Vision 20/20 planning process as a major downtown revitalization project. The goal is to develop an open-space recreational amenity for IDEA Commons and greater downtown. During some recent environmental remediation in West Meadows, the original Fulbright Spring was discovered.
4. Update on Projects of Mutual Interest --- Mr. Burris next briefed the group on recent projects of mutual interest: 1) Revamped National & Monroe intersection which is the new entrance to the University; 2) Future renaming of Monroe Street to Bear Boulevard to be taken up by City Council in June; and 3) Formation of the Student Advisory Council to engage the next generation with the community. Three students from each of Missouri State University, Drury University, Evangel University, and Ozarks Technical Community College have come together and have dialogue with City Council members. He ended his remarks by mentioning a concept they are just now looking into – capturing the methane gas from the City’s landfill to power generators to produce heat for a Community Greenhouse. There was a stakeholder brainstorming meeting hosted by the City earlier this month.
A question/answer discussion period on all topics was then held prior to the adjournment.
5. Adjournment --- The joint meeting concluded at 7:15 p.m.
John W. McAlear