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DeWitt & Associates submits the lowest bid to renovate the second floor of the Efactory.
SBJ file photo
DeWitt & Associates submits the lowest bid to renovate the second floor of the Efactory.

MSU board to vote on Efactory construction contract

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The Missouri State University Board of Governors tomorrow is scheduled to vote on a construction contract for the school’s downtown business incubator.

DeWitt & Associates Inc. submitted the low bid of $3.3 million for the Efactory project, which has a total funding source of $4.25 million, according to the board’s Sept. 18 agenda.

Bales Construction Co. Inc. and Branco Enterprise Inc. submitted competing bids of $3.4 million and $3.5 million, respectively.

The project calls on the renovation of the Robert W. Plaster Center for Free Enterprise — the 405 N. Jefferson Ave. home of the Efactory — by utilizing second-floor space to add a conference room, offices, design and research laboratories, and other new areas, according to the board agenda. The expansion also would improve a cooperative engineering program with the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Funding is provided, in part, by a $1.25 million grant announced last month from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration, as well as Missouri tax credits.

The latest grant represents an investment in the downtown opportunity zone by the federal government. In the zone, taxpayers can invest capital gains in return for a tax deferral, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

Efactory officials expect the federal grant will lead to some $27 million in private estimates and the creation of 360 jobs.

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