In September 2018 the KC Chamber Board voted unanimously to change its Big 5 initiative from “Moving UMKC’s World-Class Arts Programs to a New Downtown Location” to “Building a New World-Class Conservatory at UMKC.”

The action follows the university’s decision to restrict the site for the new facility within 2.5 miles of the campus.

The Chamber Board’s vote reflects the position that replacement of the Conservatory’s current outdated facilities is of primary concern. The Conservatory must have amenities that equal the quality of its music, dance, and theater faculty and students.

In addition, conditions have changed since 2011 when the Chamber first announced its goal to move the Conservatory to a new downtown location.

With the merger of the Conservatory and theater departments, the scope of the project has grown and the Crossroads site is no longer viable. The expansion of the KC Streetcar will create a synergy between the UMKC Volker campus and the Kauffman Performing Arts Center that wasn’t imaginable in 2011. UMKC and Greater Kansas City cannot afford to delay this project any further and a location outside of the indicated area threatens the University’s deadline to have a plan in place by 2020 to ensure continued accreditation.