Archive for Saturday, January 13, 1990


January 13, 1990


The record $90 million spent for building construction, renovation and repair at Kansas University during the 1980s transformed the complexion of the Lawrence campus and set the stage for another decade of unprecedented growth.

Sixteen new buildings or additions were completed at a cost of $63.8 million, said Allen Wiechert, director of facilities planning at KU. The decade began with the $218,000 Foley Hall project and ended with the $5.4 million parking garage.

Eight building renovations totaling $19.7 million, including the $6.5 million Kansas Union renovation, and state-funded major repair projects valued at $5.4 million were completed. The total excludes hundreds of small undertakings.

"I would venture to say that in the last decade we have done more than any decade in the way of construction," he said. "A lot of that in the latter two to three years was not the result of state funding, but the result of creative financing."

"FOR EXAMPLE, the Kansas Union project was done with student fees. The parking garage was built with parking fees. The (nearly finished $12 million) Dole Human Development Center was funded out of federal and private funds," he said.

The Top 10 projects of the 1980s were the Anschutz Science Library, $13.9 million, 1989; Haworth Hall addition, $12.7 million, 1985; Malott Hall addition, $11 million, 1980; Kansas Union renovation, $6.5 million, 1989; Watson Library renovation, $6.2 million, 1982.

And, Robinson Gymnasium addition, $6.1 million, 1980; campus parking garage, $5.4 million, 1989; Adams Alumni Center, $5 million, 1983; Anschutz Pavilion, $3.5 million, 1984; and Marvin Hall renovation, $2.8 million, 1981.

Wiechert said the pace of building activity should continue in the 1990s because KU's fund drive, Campaign Kansas, has increased private donations. The Lied Foundation pledged $10 million for construction of a performing arts center.

ALTHOUGH groundbreaking for the $13 million Lied Center has been delayed, the second phase of the $7.2 million Snow Hall renovation should be finished this year. Other projects, such as the $6 million Regents Center in Overland Park, are in the pipeline.

In addition, Gov. Mike Hayden has asked the Kansas Legislature to set aside $2 million of the $8 million requested by the Kansas Board of Regents to address major building maintenance and repair problems at KU in Fiscal Year 1991, which begins in July.

Warren Corman, regents director of facilities, said the plan would double the current level of state support for such projects at state universities. The money would go a long way toward restoring buildings to their original luster, he said.

The Educational Building Fund, financed with a small statewide tax, would be tapped to pay for the projects. Corman said the regents hope to spend $200 million in state and private funds for capital improvements through fiscal year 1994.

The top five items on KU's FY 1990 priority list are: $262,000 to replace high-voltage cable, $109,000 for a water main utility analysis, $135,000 for energy conservation studies, $210,000 to repair streets and $20,000 to repair underground oil tanks.

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