This time next year construction will be nearly finished on the $6 million Regents Center, a satellite campus of the state university system operated by Kansas University.
The new center, under construction at 127th Street and Quivira Road in Overland Park, will enable KU to expand services in the greater Kansas City area.
"The construction is a little bit ahead of schedule," Allen Wiechert, university director of facilities planning, said in a recent interview.
Construction is expected to be wrapped up in late 1992, and the center is scheduled to open for classes in spring 1993.
Concrete piers and foundations have been poured. Masonry work has been completed. McPherson Contractors, Topeka, continues to install the structural system.
"If you went out there you would see it has really taken shape,'' Wiechert said.
HE SAID the only setback since construction started was discovery of rock formations that required the center's parking lot to be redesigned.
About 1,400 students attend the existing center in a former Overland Park elementary school building during the fall and spring semesters.
Officials decided to build a new center because demand for part-time classes in Kansas City outstripped the center's ability to supply them.
The new center a three-story brick, stucco and stone building will be nearly double the size of the existing facility, which opened in 1975.
The center was designed to eventually accommodate 3,000 to 4,000 students.
BESIDES 16 regular classrooms of various sizes, the center will include a 100-seat lecture hall, two 70-seat classrooms and a library.
A transmitter building, for state-of-the-art telecommunications equipment, will be located at the site.
Credit and non-credit courses will be beamed from KU's Lawrence campus and other state universities to the Regents Center and then throughout the Kansas City area.
Chancellor Gene Budig said the center will allow for expansion of master's degree programs in business, journalism, architecture, health services and social work.
Total cost of the center is estimated at $6 million. In 1988, the Kansas Legislature approved $2 million in financing.
Remaining construction funds came from $4 million in revenue bonds supported by students fees and private donations. Land for the center was donated.