MOHELA plan to continue, wait approval

Jessica MacIntosh

By Jessica MacIntosh


Pending approval next week, Missouri Southern will receive approximately $19.3 million for the construction of the health sciences building.

“We are excited,” said University President Julio León. “Four years from now we will have another building.”

Gov. Matt Blutt and legislators agreed on a university construction plan Aug. 26 that is possible through the sale of $350 million in student loans.

The Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority loans will still be sold, but the proceeds will be transferred to the Missouri Development Finance Board, not directly to the state or universities. MOHELA will either provide proceeds to the finance board or sell the loans to them, in which the finance board would resell them.

Within the agreement, the legislature will also appropriate $10 million annually for a new scholarship program.

According to an Associated Press story in The Joplin Globe, the agreement would be a first. A state board has not received a multiyear commitment.

“We hope that this time the agreement will result in action,” León said.

León said the health science building will be the priority when the funding becomes available.

He said it is difficult to say when Southern will receive the money.

The MOHELA board meets Sept. 8 to approve the agreement.

“Everything appears to be moving,” León said.