CMU Launches ‘Heart of Central’ Campaign

Ground broken for new Allied Health Building

Campaign LogoCentral Methodist University officials broke ground Friday morning (Aug. 1) on a $6.5 million Center for Allied Health building project, the first phase of a $20 million fund drive they announced at the same time.

CMU has dubbed it "The Campaign for the Heart of Central," and officials aim to complete the campaign in five years, according to CMU President Roger D. Drake.

"Other than watching students walk across the commencement platform, construction sites may be one of the most inspirational visual reminders on a university campus," Drake said. "It is a sign that we are growing, our mission is meaningful, and we are meeting and exceeding the needs of our students.

"The new Center for Allied Health and a renovated Stedman Hall of Science will allow us to prepare greater numbers of students to make a difference in the world," he added.

While there are four main components to the $20 million campaign - the second largest in Central history - the new 25,000 square foot allied health building is clearly its centerpiece. Construction will begin immediately, and CMU officials plan to have it open by the start of the Fall 2015 semester next August.

The Allied Health facility will be home to CMU's nursing and athletic training programs, providing top quality facilities and enabling growth in those high demand programs. CMU is also developing new occupational therapy assistant and physical therapy assistant programs to be based in the new building.

Upon its completion, and as the fund drive allows, CMU will begin an $8.5 million renovation to its more than 50-year-old Stedman Hall of Sciences. Specifics of and a timetable for that initiative will be determined as the campaign progresses, Drake said.

Stedman is one of the most heavily utilized buildings on campus. Renovations will enhance CMU biology, chemistry, computer sciences, environmental science, marine biology, mathematics and physics programs and labs, as well as general classroom space.

Another $2 million of the campaign will target the Central Annual Scholarship Fund to meet student needs for financial assistance. Enrollment growth at CMU has increased the need for scholarship dollars, Drake noted.

The fourth element of the Campaign for the Heart of Central is $3 million to increase the university endowment – the fund from which CMU draws earnings to help support its activities. The CMU endowment currently stands at approximately $36 million.

The Campaign for the Heart of Central will be chaired by CMU Board of Trustee Bob Courtney of St. Louis. Other members of the campaign steering committee include CMU Trustees Glenn Cox (CMU Class of '51) of Bartlesville, Okla., John Drakesmith ('58) of Longwood, Fla., Janet Jacobs ('77) of Fayette, Dr. Nancy Walker Peacock ('82) of Nashville, Tenn., and Robert "Tad" Perry ('65) of Ft. Pierre, S.D.

President Drake, Dr. Josh Jacobs (CMU vice president for advancement and alumni relations) and Dr. James "Tiger" Gordon (professor of chemistry and chair of the division of science, mathematics and computer science) will also serve on the committee.

CMU has selected Coil Construction of Columbia as the general contractor. Architectural work has been done by PWA Architects, also of Columbia.


Posted August 7, 2014