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Kansas State University announced today (Mon), it has been awarded $25 million through the Kansas Department of Commerce Challenge Grant program.

The program challenges state educational institutions to leverage private dollars with state funds at a 3-to-1 ratio for construction and renovation projects. K-State in December met the private funding threshold, raising $75 million in private donations, to secure the maximum available grant money from the state.

Those funds, along with the $25 million legislative appropriation, will net $125 million for agricultural infrastructure improvements, including new and improved teaching spaces in the College of Agriculture and will eliminate about $56 million in deferred facilities maintenance.

“I want to say thank you to every donor, from the individual or family to our agricultural industry partners, for their generous gifts, and I want to express my gratitude to Governor Kelly, Secretary Toland and the Kansas State Legislature for their award and belief in the future of the university and the state’s agricultural industry,” said Ernie Minton, dean of the College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension.

K-State is planning to build a new Global Center for Food & Grain Innovation, along with renovations to both Call and Weber Halls in addition to a new Agronomy Research and Agronomy Innovation Center in the north campus corridor (Edge Collaborative District).

“We are so thankful for the generosity and support of our state, industry and commodity leaders, alumni, friends and donors who are united by our vision to lay this incredible foundation for economic growth and job creation for Kansas,” said Richard Linton, president of Kansas State University. “This investment in the university greatly contributes to how we will be able to prepare our students and faculty with the most innovative skills and tools needed to succeed and lead within this critical industry — and it is an investment that will benefit the people of Kansas and beyond for decades to come.

Construction and renovations will begin in mid-2023, with all phases anticipated to be completed by the end of 2026.