A $1 million gift from Monsanto Company will fund a community education center in the UMSL at Grand Center building currently under construction in St. Louis and set to open in late spring. The building will offer UMSL classes and programming and provide a new home for the studios and offices of St. Louis Public Radio. (Photo by August Jennewein)

A $1 million gift from Monsanto Company to build a community education center in Grand Center, will mean the University of Missouri–St. Louis can further its urban mission and strengthen the partnerships it has with the region’s media, arts and educational institutions.

The Monsanto Community Education Center will be located on the first floor of the new UMSL at Grand Center building, 3651 Olive Street in St. Louis. Scheduled to open in late spring, the building will offer classes and programming in the city’s arts district and provide a new home for the studios and offices of St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU.

“All of us at Monsanto are so proud to live and work in St. Louis, and we appreciate the strong arts and education foundation the city offers,” said Jan Holloway, Monsanto senior vice president, chief of staff and community relations. “We are happy to support UMSL and KWMU as well as help provide students with a new outlet for learning.”

Designed by St. Louis architects Heather Woofter and Sung Ho Kim of Axi:Ome, UMSL at Grand Center is a three-story, 27,000 square foot building. It is expected to be completed in June.

“Student learning is a key component of the mission of UMSL at Grand Center,” said Chancellor Tom George. “This generous gift from the Monsanto Company establishes a center where the university and St. Louis Public Radio can offer community programming, classes in digital and new media and programs for a wider and diverse audience.”

Tim Eby, St. Louis Public Radio’s director and general manager, said the station has been working with Monsanto for many years.

“For St. Louis Public Radio, this gift strengthens an already strong relationship with Monsanto allowing us to better inform and engage citizens throughout the region and with our partners in the Grand Center district,” he said.

The university has a lease/purchase agreement with BC Development of Kansas City, Mo. Fundraising continues for the $12 million project and has resulted in nearly $8 million to date.  The campus plans to fund another $2 million. S.M. Wilson and Company of St. Louis is the general contractor. LLC. Chiodini Associates serves as architect of record. Larry Eisenberg, university architect for the University of Missouri System, is project manager.

Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world’s natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit: www.monsanto.com. Follow Monsanto on Twitter at twitter.com/MonsantoNews, on the company blog, Beyond the Rows(r) at www.monsantoblog.com, or subscribe to Monsanto’s News Release RSS Feed.

UMSL is the largest university in the region, UMSL enrolls more than 16,000 students from 48 states and 62 countries and 50,000 additional students in non-credit continuing education programs. It employs more than 1,400 full-time and part-time teaching and research faculty members. While its graduates have taken leadership roles nationally and internationally, their influence remains centered in the St. Louis region. More than 75 percent of UMSL’s 80,000 graduates still live and work in the region.

St. Louis Public Radio is St. Louis’ premier source for National Public Radio programs such as “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered” that offer in-depth news and information. Local programs include “St. Louis on the Air” and “Cityscape,” which provide a forum for discussion of issues important to the region’s civic life. The station has recently expanded its offerings with the addition of two HD channels.

Maureen Zegel

Maureen Zegel

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