11 News Special Report: The Future Of Mesa State Part Three

Mesa State College is asking the state legislature for roughly $27 Million in capital construction funds. School officials hope to point out to lawmakers that an investment in the college is also an investment in the local economy.

It's no secret that the economy on the western slope is booming, but you may not know just how much Mesa State College contributes to the growth.

The institute of higher learning recently put together a Regional Economic Impact Study for the 2005–2006 Fiscal Year. It says Mesa State College added more than $106 Million directly to the regional economy. And when indirect spending is taken into account the total exceeds $190 Million. The study also estimates that 471 jobs were supported by the direct spending.

Mesa State is the county's third largest employer with more than 1100 employees. According to the study these employees put more than $14 Million back into the local economy.

According to the study, the more than 6,000 students who attend Mesa State each spends a little more than $1200 a month during the academic year which translates to an economic impact of more than $68 Million.

Mesa State attracted more than 4,500 visitors from outside the region who in turn the study estimates spent more than $5 Million during their stays.

Another major boost to the area happens when the college expands. Over the two most recent fiscal years the school spent $14.5 Million on capital projects. More than $12 Million of that was paid to local companies providing the work.

The school has aggressive plans to keep the growth going, but at this point the future depends on weather the State Legislature will give the school the roughly $27 Million it's asking for to be used for expansion projects. They should know by April or May if they will receive the funding.