Gov. Mike Parson, Missouri Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin, and Missouri Reps. Danny Busick and Greg Sharpe came to Truman State University last Thursday to talk with University President Sue Thomas about Truman’s role in workforce development and the Greenwood project.
Thomas said the Greenwood Center is an example of how Truman contributes to workforce development and meets the needs of Kirksville’s citizens.
“We filled him in on where we were [in the project, and] we had people who were supportive of us in the community come to be able to talk about the need for it,” Thomas said. “This project has been going on for a number of years.”
It has been a roller coaster up and down in terms of getting support from the state, Thomas said.
She said she explained the necessity of state support and how repurposing the Greenwood Center would allow the state to have a return on its investment.
“Greenwood would make a huge difference in our part of the state where there are no comprehensive services for individuals on the autism spectrum,” Thomas said.
Thomas said it was a very positive meeting in terms of the governor understanding the importance of the Greenwood Center and why state support is so important, as well as the importance of what Truman does and how Truman contributes to the economic health of the state.
However, Thomas said nothing concrete came out of the meeting.
Still, she said there are plans for Greenwood in the summer. About 75 percent of the windows will be replaced, focusing on those facing the street. The windows in the back of the building will not be replaced right now because of a lack of funding from some of the money being withheld, Thomas said.
It’s harder to get support for certain projects in rural Missouri, Thomas said, but Truman is not giving up and the administration is confident the Greenwood Center going to happen.
“I think that is why we are so pleased the governor made time to come to Truman to learn about the Center,” Thomas said. “To learn about who we are as a public liberal arts institution.”
While Parson and O’Laughlin were asked to comment, they did not provide statements.