Classes have begun at the Mizzou Center.

Classes have begun at the Mizzou Center.

Al Black, director of the center, said that last week was a successful opening week at the new center, at 1600 N.E. Coronado Drive in the Heartland Financial Building.

“Everything is going as expected,” Black said.

The city of Blue Springs and the University of Missouri opened the doors in late spring to what they called the anchor, or the magnet, that will attract students, researchers and, hopefully, aspiring companies to Blue Springs and the greater Kansas City area.

This week it attracted graduate students who would have had to travel to St. Joseph to attend class.

“It’s very beneficial to them, for obvious reasons,” Black said, adding that four graduate-level credit courses are being offered.

About a dozen university representatives operate the facility, which was designed to be temporary until an actual bricks-and- mortar Mizzou Center can be constructed.

Until then, the center will serve as a location where graduate students can finish specialized training in areas including life sciences, social work and technology. There is additional space available for companies that want to locate there and partner with the university.

Approximately 8,000 square feet of office space on the first floor of the Heartland Financial Building has been transformed in the last few months. Six departments are available, with others planned for the future.

The Mizzou Center was initially to be the first building constructed for the hugely ambitious Missouri Innovation Park, an estimated 118-acre complex that is expected to house research facilities and start-up companies that focus primarily on the animal health and life sciences. The Mizzou Center would be that location where research would take place, where graduate students assist on-site companies, both established and start-ups.

However, the university announced in March that it was scaling down its original plans because of budget concerns. Instead, the university would lease space at the Heartland Financial Building and build momentum from there.

With more than 25,000 Mizzou alumni living in the Kansas City area, university spokesmen said earlier this year that was a significant pool from which to draw support and, hopefully, a work force.

Tenants of the building are expected to build partnerships, develop smoother transitions for technology transfer and create jobs. It also will create opportunities for jobs, build connections with students, become a rallying point for alumni and assist development efforts.

The following list is the services offered at the Mizzou Center in Blue Springs. For more information, call 816-655-6718:

 

Mizzou Center Services

MU ACADEMIC PROGRAMS: Provides advising, workshops, career development and educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in person and via video conferencing. MU College of Engineering and Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Center: Counsels businesses in the metro area to help them procure federal, state and local government contracts. MU College of Education, School of Information Science and Learning Technologies: Provides website usability testing for businesses, government agencies and others, tapping faculty expertise to design training programs and information services. MU College of Veterinary Medicine: Helps develop and extend research partnerships within the KC Animal Health Corridor.