MU will be the Innovation Park's anchor tenant. When fully operational, the Mizzou Center will offer services ranging from academic programs for undergraduate and graduate students to providing technical counseling for local businesses. University officials expect the Center to expand rapidly.
"Mizzou is a major economic driver for the state," said MU Chancellor Brady Deaton. "The tenants of this building will build partnerships, develop smoother transitions for technology transfers and create jobs."
Sanders praised Blue Springs Mayor Carson Ross and Blue Springs Economic Development Council President Brien Starner for forming this beneficial partnership with MU. The benefits are likely to be experienced in every county within Greater Kansas City, he reiterated, saying, "The people who will be employed in this complex and the students who'll enroll in the programs at the Mizzou Center will come from all corners of our region."
Mayor Ross shares Sanders' belief the Mizzou Center and Innovation Park will be a catalyst for further development.
"People will stop and take note," he stated.
The Mizzou Center's first occupants include these six programs:
- MU School of Information Science and Learning Technologies
- MU Extension Food and Nutrition
- MU College of Veterinary Medicine
- Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers with the MU College of Engineering
- Mizzou Career Services
- MU Office of Research
Al Black, 39-year veteran of MU's University Extension services, has been named the first director of the Mizzou Center. He previously served as the west central regional director for MU Extension.
"I've always dreamed that MU would have an expanded physical presence in the Kansas City region," Black said. "Over time, we've explored various options, but this is the ideal situation as many aspects of the University will be represented. It's exciting to know that I'll play a part in building something that will fundamentally change the landscape of the University of Missouri in the Kansas City region."