ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The University of Missouri – St. Louis stands to get millions of dollars if St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page gets his way.
“This is a rare opportunity to meet long-unaddressed needs in the community and to uplift those who seldom have a voice in where resources go,” Page said Monday while outlining how he’d like to spend $83 million in federal COVID relief funds.
The people have spoken, Page said. His spending ideas are the result of town hall meetings with county citizens, as well as an online survey.
According to Page, residents’ top three areas of concern are health care, infrastructure, and education. The county executive is proposing using at least $10 million of the federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to create a business and workforce district on UMSL’s south campus.
“This proposed project, built over 35 acres, would include workforce, business, and research incubators, and mixed-use commercial and residential spaces,” he said. “That could include apartments, condominiums, restaurants, health services, a grocery store, and office spaces.”
UMSL Chief of Staff Adella Jones is excited about the possibility of the campus getting a facelift.
“Then you’re going to start seeing some building go down that’s along Natural Bridge. That’s probably the first thing you’ll see,” she said.
The master plan for UMSL calls for the proposed business and workforce district to change the face of the south campus.
“This project, being championed by State Senator Brian Williams, is one that will provide economic opportunity for African American residents and business owners, and would not only transform the north county university, but the trajectory of so many of our families,” Page said.
Jones said the new work force district would also serve students by acting as a pipeline “working in those new industries and getting that firsthand opportunity at a new job.”
Page has proposed $7.5 million for small businesses, $15 million for roads, and $10 million to assist nonprofits. The county council meets Tuesday to begin considering Page’s proposals.