KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A major gift from the family of the late, local developer Miller Nichols will help to update his namesake library at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Miller Nichols' wife and daughter, Jeannette Nichols and Kay Nichols Callison, respectively, attended a groundbreaking Thursday for the expansion of the library. After the addition, it will be called the Miller Nichols Library and Learning Center.
The $18 million expansion project will add a new classroom building and a south-facing entrance foyer for both the new building and the existing Miller Nichols Library. The building will add 950 new classroom seats to the university. A bond issue, approved by the Board of Curators in 2010, is funding the addition.
The Nichols family made two gifts totaling $1.25 million that will be used to renovate the third and fourth floors of the library, which opened in 1969. The Miller Nichols Charitable Foundation gave $1 million, while $250,000 came from Jeanette Nichols.
"This will be a place where students and community members will come for instruction and advice; where they can study and write and collaborate; where our fundamental values of teaching, learning and scholarship are practiced -- and revered," said Gail Hackett, executive vice chancellor and provost of UMKC.
Miller Nichols headed the J.C. Nichols Company, founded by his father, from 1950 to 1988. He died in 2000. J.C. Nichols not only developed the Country Club Plaza, but several of Kansas City's post-war suburban residential areas.