Conservationists worry about Mo. med school plan - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Conservationists worry about Mo. med school plan

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) - Conservationists are unhappy about Missouri Southern State University's plan to build a medical school on 40 acres of native prairie land.

A study has concluded the 35,000-square-foot medical building would create more than 450 jobs and more than $45 million in local economic output.

But The Joplin Globe reports that conservationists like Randy Haas worry a rare natural resource will be destroyed.

Haas, who's with the state Department of Conservation, says Missouri has only about 75,000 remaining acres of undisturbed prairie. That's roughly one-half of 1 percent of the original 15 million acres.

Missouri Southern owns the land. University president Bruce Speck says there's no other spot for the medical school.

Information from: The Joplin Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com

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