Feb 2, 2007    #016
Contact: Nick Barron

UMKC’s Miller Nichols Library Expansion Awarded $1 Million

Local philanthropist Julia Irene Kauffman has committed $1 million in support to the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s (UMKC) Miller Nichols Library expansion project.  The major gift will help ensure that future generations of students and Kansas Citians receive an exemplary research facility.

        Expansion and revitalization of the Miller Nichols Library is the University’s top capital project.  When it opened in 1969, the library was designed to serve a student population of 6,000.  Today it is called on to assist more than 14,000 students and thousands more community patrons.  An expansion will enable the library to address the needs of UMKC’s current student population and accommodate a 20 percent increase in enrollment without the addition of classrooms elsewhere on UMKC’s campus. 

          “Completion of this project is essential because it will directly impact our institution’s five-year goals,” said UMKC Chancellor Guy H. Bailey.  “In order for us to be ranked as one of the top dozen urban institutions in the country, we need to increase enrollment and address capacity issues.  Julia’s tremendous investment in the Miller Nichols Library enables us to meet both immediate and long-term needs.”

Highlights of the project include a new 81,167 square-foot Information Commons, 75 percent of which is dedicated to individual and group learning spaces; a 300-seat lecture hall; critical renovations to existing library spaces; a new, covered parking structure; space to accommodate both the UMKC Writing Center and the Center for Academic Development; an automated high-density storage and retrieval system; resources to allow for sustained growth; and provide permanent homes for special collections, such as the Western Historical Manuscripts and the Marr Sound Archives.  Total costs for the project are estimated at $70 million, which will be funded through $20 million in private gifts and $50 million in campus and state funds.

The Miller Nichols Library is the largest academic research library in the metropolitan area, housing more than one million books, serials and electronic journals, and an array of specialized databases that provide quick access to scholarly information.  It is estimated that more than 160,000 patrons use the library annually, 25 percent of which are members of the Kansas City community.   Once completed, the expansion project will strengthen the library’s ability to promote lifelong learning and enhance the campus’ northeast corridor.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students.  UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban affairs.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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