Work in progress for future MIC building

tporter@lsjournal.comJuly 26, 2013 

On a day a Lee’s Summit North High School student and participant in the Missouri Innovation Campus program got a chance to introduce the President of the United States, a businessman with Exergonix stated the company is still looking for financing to build a permanent home for the campus.

Less than an hour after Lee’s Summit North student and MIC participant Brian Green introduced Barack Obama to a crowd at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Don Nissanka, president and CEO of Exergonix, told the Journal that the company still plans to build a campus for MIC near Missouri 291 and U.S. 50.

“We are still committed to trying to do something with UCM over the next few years,” Nissanka said via telephone as he traveled from Warrensburg where Obama lauded the success of the MIC initiative. “We want to finally bring the campus into the location on (Missouri) 291.”

Long in the works, the news came at an opportune time as the nation got a glimpse into the Innovation Campus at Summit Technology Campus in Lee’s Summit, a collaborative effort between UCM, Metropolitan Community College, the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District and a list of metro-area businesses.

The company is building its world headquarters and production facility on an 85-acre campus it owns near Missouri 291 and U.S. 50, and plans to house the future home of the Missouri Innovation Campus and other renewable energy businesses that will also employ MIC students.

Nissanka was recognized July 24 by Obama along with Worldwide Technologies CEO Dave Steward for their contributions to UCM.

Both Nissanka and Steward are UCM graduates who have been actively involved in the growth of educational programs there.

“We’ve been working really closely with the University,” Nissanka said. “We’ve been kind of planning this out, but the biggest issue is getting it to the point where we can get it financed and built. That is what has been holding things up for the last few months.”

Exergonix, based in Lee’s Summit, designs and builds renewable energy solutions for a wide range of applications including storage for solar and wind power, utility management and emergency back up.

Nissanka – a graduate of UCM – was recognized as a Distinguished International Alumnus in 2006. His work on the Innovation Campus concept has been recognized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Lumina Foundation and the Senate Commerce Committee, which had him testify about the concept in 2012.

“Hopefully within the next few months we are going to be launching the (entire project) on the 291/Highway 50 corridor,” he said.

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