UMR expansion plans - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

UMR expansion plans

ROCHESTER, MN (KTTC-DT) -- The University of Minnesota Rochester is just two years old, and already school officials say the campus must expand to accommodate the growing number of students. The price tag? Nearly seven million dollars. So, the question is... where will the money come from? Today, the UMR Chancellor presented an academic expansion plan to the city council. After only an hour... most members were calling it 'fantastic!' The expansion would include 25-thousand square feet of classroom, labs, and student life space by 2013 to accommodate incoming students. Chancellor Stephen Lehmkuhle also proposed five-block campuses for those uses. The price tag is estimated around six million dollars. At today's committee of the whole meeting UMR requested the council to approve these funds from Rochester's local option sales tax, which partly funds higher education.

"The community has been very supportive and this only works with their support so right now I am excited and it some ways the more they hear about what we're doing the more excited the community is and I find that reinforcing." said UMR Chancellor Stephen Lehmkuhle.

He also says expanding downtown is more cost-effective than building from the ground up, because things like restaurants, banks, and an athletic club are already available for students to use...with a possible discount. Council members agreed and approved the remaining seven point three million dollars in local sales tax be set aside for future UMR developments. One thing UMR students say the the campus lacks is housing. But the Chancellor says that would cost more money... but is something that he's working on.



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