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