By Andra Bryan Stefanoni
KANSAS CITY, Mo. —
Officials from the City of Pittsburg and Pittsburg State University will meet today in a public forum at 6 p.m. to discuss a partnership that would be the first of its kind.
According to an online video created by PSU about the partnership, the university is seeking a proposed financial investment from the city of $7.6 million from the Revolving Loan Fund and bonded investments. It would help pay for three planned expansion projects: an expansion and renovations to the Jack H. Overman Student Center, an expansion to the Weede Gymnasium that would create an indoor athletic complex and event facility, and a performing and fine arts center.
Eighty-eight percent of the $61.2 million cost for the three projects already has been secured, with $24 million from student-approved student fee increases and $29.6 million from private donors. An investment by the city would provide the remaining 12 percent.
In the online presentation, university officials said the three projects would put Pittsburg on pace as the economic engine for
Southeast Kansas. Economic projections by Municipal Consulting, LLC, suggest the projects could lead to the creation of 444 jobs and have an economic impact of $329 million, including an estimated $27 million in new direct revenues for the City of Pittsburg and Crawford County.
In the past five years, nearly 50 percent of the capital investments in Pittsburg came from PSU, including 56.4 million in renovations, expansions and new facilities.
If the annual growth trend of 1.5 percent additional students continues, PSU officials also project the university is in line to top 10,000 students in the next 17 years. It has grown 35 percent since 1987, with this fall’s enrollment setting another record at 7,289 students. Current economic studies indicate each student brings $10,000 to the local economy each year.
The meeting will be held in the lower level of the Watco building, 315 W. Third St. It is open to the public.