FAA Members show off the sheep to a group of eager young agriculture students at the MSU Darr Agricultural Center in 2022. (Photo by Shannon Cay)

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Missouri State University’s Darr Agricultural Center will get a new building for classrooms, workshops and more. 

The executive committee of the Missouri State University Board of Governors selected a construction bid from Crossland Construction Company, of Columbus, Kansas, to build an 8,500-square-foot building at the satellite campus, located at Kansas Expressway and Broadmoor Street. 

The construction bid of $3.07 million is the biggest expense in the building’s overall $4.1 million cost. When it is completed, it will offer a 3,800-square-foot, high-bay shop with overhead doors for welding stations, a woodworking area, tool storage and more. It will also have classrooms, collaboration spaces, restrooms and storage. 

Matt Morris, Missouri State University’s vice president of administration and finance, said the building could be one of the last to be built at the agricultural campus. 

“That’s the last of the buildings we will need at Darr in the foreseeable future,” Morris said. “It will essentially finish out our building needs on that campus.”

Darr Agricultural Center is located at Kansas Expressway and Broadmoor Street. (Photo by Shannon Cay)

According to documentation provided to board members, the project includes $189,900 in consultant fees, $61,420 in project administration, $656,680 for a construction contingency fund, $66,000 for telecommunications and $55,000 for classroom technology. 

The project budgets nothing for furniture, fixtures and other equipment, however. Morris said the university is pursuing other grants for items such as instrumentation equipment, plasma cutters, woodworking tools, GPS drones and other supplies students will need. 

About 70% of the project’s funding will come from external sources, such as federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grants disbursed by the state of Missouri, Morris said. 

The Darr Agricultural Center campus supports the MSU’s agriculture college, which offers undergraduate and graduate programs. Earlier this year, MSU launched a small animal education center that offers housing for adopted cats and dogs from the Polk County Humane Society, a treatment area and a research lab. It was established through a 2019 donation of $6.5 million from William H. Darr and the Darr Family Foundation. 

Springfield Public Schools’ AgAcademy is also held at the campus. 

In other meeting business: 

Sidewalks to be repaired, replaced

The board of governors approved a bid of $200,146.58 with Precision Concrete Cutting to make repairs or replacements to the almost 10 miles’ worth of sidewalks on campus. 

The project’s cost is projected to be $450,000, and calls for grinding hazards identified in a recent sidewalk survey. The project also funds replacement of cracked, heaving or missing sections of sidewalk.

The bid was selected through a state statute that allows the selection of a bid established with another public entity via an Interlocal Purchasing System Contract.

Increase made to cash reserves

The board agreed to increasing the minimum amount of money kept in reserves, from $40 million to $50 million. All other aspects of the policy remain unchanged. 

The policy gives the first priority for withdrawing funds to make bond payments in time and in full, according to documentation. 

Joe Hadsall

Joe Hadsall is the education reporter for the Springfield Daily Citizen. Hadsall has more than two decades of experience reporting in the Ozarks with the Joplin Globe, Christian County Headliner News and 417 Magazine. Contact him at (417) 837-3671 or jhadsall@sgfcitizen.org. More by Joe Hadsall