MU to demolish and shutter buildings, alter class scheduling in cost-cutting move

The University of Missouri on Thursday announced plans to demolish several buildings and vacate multiple others across its Columbia campus. The effort will save more than $93 million in maintenance and repair work and more than $2.5 million in annual operating expenses, according to a university news release.

The moves are meant to address a maintenance and repair backlog of roughly $868 million. The savings will also be used to promote the university’s research and educational missions, according to the release.

Along with those facilities alterations, MU also will adjust how it schedules classes in an effort to “utilize the university’s remaining space in the most efficient manner possible,” according to the release.

“With evolving technology, we do not need as many buildings as we once did,” Gary Ward, MU’s vice chancellor for operations, said in the release.

The university plans to empty the area of Mizzou North and move the collections of the Museum of Art & Archaeology and the Museum of Anthropology to campus. Eight buildings will be demolished

The announcement comes one year after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which exacerbated existing budget challenges for MU and many of the state’s universities.

Mun Choi, the University of Missouri System president and MU chancellor, testified to state lawmakers in January that the UM System had cut nearly $300 million from its budget and eliminated 1,500 administrative positions in the past four years.

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