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Special Olympics staying in Jefferson City

The Special Olympics of Missouri has officially chosen a new home for its new Training Facility for Life.

Board Members met over the weekend and picked Jefferson City for the facility’s new location.

The organization had bids from both Columbia and Jefferson City.

The Chairman of The Special Olympics of Missouri, also known as SOMO, said the determining factor was the land issue.

Jefferson City allowed them to purchase the 15.5 acres off Highway 179.

Columbia was only going to allow them to lease the property.

Jefferson City Mayor Eric Struemph said said this will be an economy boost for the city.

“This facility will bring in nearly one million dollars of tourism revenue for our community per year.”

The nearly 45-thousand square-foot facility will be built off 179.

The board chair of SOMO said there’s another reason they chose Jefferson City.

“The decision was based in part due to it’s a place our athletes can call their home.”

It will be the first facility of its kind in the world.

SOMO said they won’t start construction until the entire $12.5 million dollars has been raised.

They have already reached more than half of the goal with plans to start in 2016.

“This project being based here is obviously huge and also SOMO staying here and along with this new project is one million dollars of salaries a year for our community,” said Struemph.

Columbia leaders said although they did not choose Columbia they will continue to host area competitions.

The decision took a year to decide on.

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