Report Highlights Crumbling Higher Education Conditions

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A new report says as much as $1.5 billion needs to be spent on Missouri’s higher education institutions to complete a backlog of maintenance projects.

The Missouri Department of Higher Education says in the report that the problems include cracked and peeling paint, water-damaged ceilings and walls, buckling floor tiles, aging plumbing and elevators that no longer meet code. The last time a similar review was conducted was 2009.

Part of the problem for all of the state schools stems from a state law limiting tuition from being raised above the rate of inflation. That leaves individual schools to rely on the state for added infrastructure costs. In recent years, however, state funding for higher education institutions has declined significantly.