Work is expected to begin this spring on a new facility to house Missouri University of Science and Technology’s 10 student design teams.
At 23,000 square feet, the new Missouri S&T student design center will give students more room to build concrete canoes, radio-controlled aircraft, solar-powered cars and other engineering projects. The facility will provide more space than the current metal building that houses the internationally competitive teams.
The university will renovate the Miner Recreation Building to house the design center. The building is located on the northwest corner of 10th Street and Bishop Avenue, across from Missouri S&T’s Gale Bullman Multi-Purpose Building.
Private funds will finance the project. The university had already raised $1.5 million of the $2.75 million needed to complete construction when Fred and June Kummer of Huntleigh Village, Mo., contributed $1.25 million for the center, which will be called the Kummer Student Design Center.
Missouri S&T Chancellor John F. Carney III announced the gift today (Feb. 16, 2010). The Kummers’ gift ensures that work will begin in May with completion by March 2011.
Fred Kummer, the chief executive officer of St. Louis-based HBE Corp., is a 1955 civil engineering graduate of the university, which was then known as the University of Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy.
The original design center idea was spearheaded by three other civil engineers: Richard Arnoldy, a 1969 civil engineering graduate of Missouri S&T and the retired CEO of ARCO Construction Co. Inc. in St. Louis; Robert Brinkmann, a 1971 civil engineering graduate and founder and president of R.G. Brinkmann Construction Co., based in Chesterfield, Mo.; and Barry Koenemann, a 1970 civil engineering graduate and CEO of United Construction Ent. Co. of St. Louis. Other recent major donors to the project include Michael Bytnar, a 1968 mechanical engineering graduate and the retired president of Nooter Corp. of St. Louis; and the Sunderland Foundation of Ashgrove Cement Co., Overland Park, Kan.
“Throughout the years, the Kummer family’s generosity has provided support for Missouri S&T’s most important initiatives in education and research,” says Carney. “As Fred himself knows, the kind of practical, team-based experience our students gain from participating in student design teams better prepares them for the technological work force, and this gift will help Missouri S&T build on a solid foundation as a leader in preparing students for the future.”
“Missouri S&T’s student design teams have an incredible record of success, and our students deserve to work and conduct business in a facility that provides the best laboratory and work space possible,” says Kummer. “June and I are very pleased to be able to provide this support for such a world-class student operation.”
Missouri S&T has built a strong reputation among technological research universities for its student design team success. S&T’s solar car team has won two North American solar races – Sunrayce’99 and the 2003 North American Solar Challenge – and its human-powered vehicle team has won several East Coast and West Coast championships in recent years. Last year, Missouri S&T’s Advanced Aero Vehicle Group was the top U.S. team in an international competition among student-designed and -built radio-controlled aircraft.
A major concern in renovating the Miner Recreation Building was relocating the indoor practice facilities it houses for intercollegiate teams. To address that challenge, a group of alumni and their spouses partnered to fully fund an indoor practice facility to be located south of the Gale Bullman Multi-Purpose Building.
Donors to the indoor practice facility are Keith and Pat Bailey, John W. and Kristie Gibson, and Steve and Gwen Malcolm, all of Tulsa, Okla. Keith Bailey is a 1964 mechanical engineering graduate of Missouri S&T and retired president and CEO of The Williams Companies Inc. of Tulsa, Okla. John Gibson and Kristie Gibson are both 1974 engineering management graduates of S&T and John is the president and CEO of ONEOK Inc. Steve Malcolm is a 1970 civil engineering graduate of S&T and is president and CEO of The Williams Companies Inc.