Plans to construct a new chemical and biological engineering building at Missouri University of Science and Technology will move forward, thanks to the University of Missouri Board of Curators’ approval of financing for a portion of the project.
The curators approved on Friday, June 17, Missouri S&T Chancellor John F. Carney III’s request to finance $12.3 million of the $22.3 million project. Missouri S&T has received commitments totaling $8 million for the project and will combine that with $2 million from campus funds.
The curators approved the plan during their meeting on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus.
“For years, we’ve had a tremendous need to upgrade facilities for our chemical and biological engineering programs,” Carney says. “National interest in these programs has increased significantly in recent years. This new building will greatly improve our ability to provide the classrooms, laboratories and other facilities our students need to become great engineers.”
Carney adds that the university’s chemical and biological engineering alumni and the Missouri S&T Board of Trustees strongly support this building project. Alumni support will exceed $8 million, or nearly 36 percent of the project cost. “More than 50 Missouri S&T graduates have made pledges of financial support.”
Plans call for the 63,542-square-foot building to be constructed on the northwest corner of State Street and 11th Street on campus. Construction is expected to begin in November 2012 and to be completed by May 2014.
The new building will also benefit the chemistry and biological sciences departments at Missouri S&T. Those two departments currently share space with the chemical and biological engineering department in Schrenk Hall. Construction of this building will free up space for chemistry and biological sciences.
Major private commitments for the project include a $5 million pledge from James E. Bertelsmeyer of Tulsa, the retired founder, chair and chief executive officer of Heritage Propane Partners in Tulsa. Bertelsmeyer graduated from Missouri S&T with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1966 and is a member of the Missouri S&T Board of Trustees.
Another major contributor to the project is Bipin Doshi, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1962 and 1963. Doshi is president of Schafer Gear Works of South Bend, Ind. He and his wife Linda pledged $1 million toward the project.