UMKC will add a 44,400-square-foot Computer and Engineering building that is projected to be completed in less than three years.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City is adding a new $32 million center for the School of Computing and Engineering, school officials have said. The new School for Computer and Engineering building will house the school’s virtual reality endeavors and 3-D engineering technology.

The construction will begin at the university’s Volker campus by the late summer, with completion slated in less than three years. The expansion was approved last month for the School of Computer and Engineering. Students are expected to have access to things like surgical medical procedures accessible through virtual reality and be able to build robots, among many other things.

The project will be funded through a university foundation and through private donations. The building will also house a 3-D printing lab, high-bay structural labs, an electron microscope, and a clean room, which is used for producing pharmaceutical products and scientific research.

“The center … will enhance UMKC’s strength as a talent magnet to help keep our best and brightest here at home and to attract fresh new talent from across the country and truly, actually, around the world,” said Interim Chancellor Barbara Bichelmeyer.  

The move comes as the School for Computer and Engineering is seeing a sharp increase in students. Back in 2008, the school housed around 700 students. Fast-forward to 2017, and the school now has aapproximately 1,800 students.

UMKC says that roughly 80 percent of that particular school’s graduated students stay in the Kansas City workforce. That means that the new School for Computer and Engineering building is not just an investment for the school, but for the city itself. The new building will be located adjacent to Flarsheim Hall, and is projected to be 44,400 square feet.

Would access to virtual reality attract you back to school? Whether for the medical profession or for video games, VR could be as big as the internet was back in ’90s. Let us know in the comments below.

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