The state Board of Regents on Thursday approved Kansas University's request to seek $18 million from the state to rebuild fire-ravaged Hoch Auditorium.
During the meeting at Pittsburg State University, the board also agreed to name the new Regents Center campus in Overland Park for two 1942 KU graduates.
KU Chancellor Gene Budig said regents' approval of the request for Hoch was a significant step.
"Now we must focus our attention on the Legislature to assure the rebuilding of Hoch Auditorium," he said.
"We are encouraged that no one regent or legislator has debated the need for reconstruction of this academic facility."
Hoch was gutted by fire June 15 after its roof was struck by lightning.
The total cost of the reconstruction project is estimated at $18 million, said Allen Wiechert, university director of facilities planning.
KU will seek $1 million in fiscal year 1993 to complete planning and $8 million in 1994 and $9 million in 1995 for construction.
If the Legislature and Gov. Joan Finney approve the entire program for Hoch, the earliest the building could be open is fall 1995.
According to preliminary plans, the building will have a limestone exterior and red roof. It will house large and small classrooms, library space and office space.
The Regents Center has been operated by KU since 1975 in an Overland Park elementary school building. It serves upper-division and graduate students.
A new $6 million Regents Center is under construction in Overland Park and should be completed in spring 1993.
The board agreed to name the Regents Center campus not the building for Roy and Joan Edwards.
Budig said the action was requested by Clay Blair III, Mission Hills, who donated 15 acres for the new center.
Mrs. Edwards is on KU's Campaign Kansas national council. Mr. Edwards, former president of the KU Alumni Association, died in 1987. Both graduated from KU in 1942.