REDI Board Discussed Development Updates

The Regional Economic Development Inc. board of directors received reports from various groups at the Wednesday meeting.

Mike Brooks, the new president, will begin his job on July 15, City Manager Bill Watkins said. Brooks will be the speaker at REDI’s annual meeting on Aug. 4.

The board also heard updates on MU projects and the Columbia Area Jobs Foundation, which last week had its request to rezone 210 acres to light industrial just east of Route Z at Interstate 70 approved by the Boone County Commission. The foundation hopes to use the site to attract a large employer to the area.

Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services Jacquelyn Jones told board members that the MU Board of Curators approved the schematic design for a new patient care tower that would include the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center.

Jones said they want to rush through the project as fast as possible because interest rates are lower now and the competition in the construction industry would help in getting lower bids for the project.

The money for the project would come from money the legislature set aside for the Ellis Fischel center and from bonds, among other sources.

REDI also discussed enrollment and campus housing. This year is the toughest year for enrollment projections since they don’t know the economic impact yet, but out-of-state applications have increased, Jones said. While it won’t be as much space as last year, the university will be leasing off-campus housing again.

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