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Missouri curators to discuss architect for south end zone project on Thursday

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Thursday appears to be a pretty big day for Mizzou’s proposed football stadium enhancements. The Curators will meet to discuss and, in theory, approve of the athletic department’s choice of architect.

A memorandum from MU detailing the project recommends Kansas City-based Populous as the architect. Populous has worked on similar football-facility projects at Kansas State, Oklahoma and Colorado.

First-year Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk — who has helped secure a fiscal-year record eight seven-figure donations, most toward the project — previously indicated a desire to begin construction after the Tigers’ 2017 football season.

The project is expected to be completed during summer 2019, the memo said.

The topic will be a little bit awkward considering the general state of politics and money at Mizzou right now.

The total project budget has been set at $96.7 million, while $4.31 million has been committed to cover the design costs through private gifts, according to the meeting agenda released Monday by the board. [...] Rather than build around the current south end zone structure, Missouri has decided to take down the entire south bowl and build a new structure, athletics director Jim Sterk announced in December. Mizzou also released artist renderings of the project in December.

Though the curators are only voting Thursday to approve the architect, the measure is expected to generate more dialogue than typical for an athletics funding project, especially in the wake of Gov. Eric Greitens’ plans to cut state funding for the UM system. One university source expected the measure to eventually pass but not without thorough discussion.

This project is being funded, obviously, through private donations, so cuts in state funding aren’t an actual issue here, but ... hoo boy, those funding cuts are vicious. It makes for quite the contrast.

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