Kansas State University is getting ready to commence phase 1 of its infrastructure improvements for the College of Agriculture after successfully raising $81.4 million from private and corporate donors, and $50 million in pledged appropriations from the legislature.

Included in the first phase of the project are the construction of a new Agronomy Research and Innovation Center and a new Global Grain and Food Innovation Center, as well as the demolition of Shellenberger Hall which currently serves as the Department of Grain Science’s residence. Subsequently, phase two of the campus upgrade will involve renovations to Weber Hall and Call Hall, as well as the construction of the Animal Science department’s livestock competition arena.

World-Grain further reported:

“We have set ourselves up for what we hope to be a second-to-none student experience and continue the success we’ve had with research outreach and engagement,” Minton said.

Minton said the state legislature initially committed $25 million to the plan and pledged an additional $25 million as a 1-to-3 match if the university raised $75 million. Susan Metzger, associate director for agriculture and extension at KSU, said the donations raised by the university along with the money pledged from the state puts the overall total at about $125 million. But there is more fundraising to be done.

“The project is going to be a little over $200 million when it’s all said and done,” Metzger said. “We’ve made some great progress here.”

To achieve the $81 million in donations, Metzger said KSU received $51.1 million from individual donors, $11.5 million from ag and commodity stakeholders and organizations, $10 million from industry partners and $8.8 million from a land sale. That included a $5 million gift from the Kansas Farm Bureau and a $4 million donation by the Kansas Soybean Association and Commission, she said, noting that the university received numerous other significant donations but many of the donors wish to remain anonymous.

The bottom line, Minton said, is that new facilities have a positive impact on current students and help attract prospective students.