Overland Park More than 200 Kansas University alumni, administrators and friends were present Thursday for the dedication of the new KU Regents Center at 127th Street and Quivira Road.
"The dedication of this new regents center acknowledges a unique partnership," KU Chancellor Gene Budig said. "That partnership involves the university, state government, local government, members of the greater Kansas City and local business community, and loyal friends of the university."
Budig made the remarks in the library of the new center during formal dedication ceremonies Thursday afternoon.
The $6 million center, located south of Johnson County Community College, will provide a new home for KU faculty and students who in the past have used a 100-year-old elementary school building for classes in the metropolitan area.
"I think this is going to stun everyone in this room with the success it will have," said Rick Harmon, member of the Kansas Board of Regents.
"The board of regents was extremely happy to have a center like this in Johnson County."
The 55,000-square-foot center has 26 rooms, ranging from a 12-seat seminar room to a 100-seat lecture hall. The center, which has been under construction about 18 months, also offers a parking lot with about 500 spaces.
STUDENTS and faculty will move into the new building from an elementary school that housed regents center classes for the past 17 years.
"Those of you who never toured the old building, it would be a wonderful contrast (to the new building)," said Del Brinkman, vice chancellor for academic affairs for KU's Lawrence campus.
KU will offer master's degree programs at the center in architecture, business administration, education, engineering, health services administration, journalism, public administration and social work.
Currently, about 1,400 students are enrolled. The new center will accommodate more than 2,000 students, officials said.
The center will feature some classrooms equipped with televisions, videocassette recorders, computers, projectors and remote-controlled screens.
Its library has computers that can reach the catalog on KU's main campus in Lawrence. Students will be able to access information with their home or office computers.
A 150-FOOT tower at the new center also will beam classes taught on KU's Lawrence campus for transmission to classrooms, corporate sites and homes in the Kansas City area.
The center's operators will broadcast to the community over a low-power television signal that has a range of about 12 miles, officials said.
The tower also eventually will be used for two-way transmissions between the KU campuses in Lawrence, Kansas City, Kan., and Overland Park.
The Regents Center campus is named "Edwards Campus" after Roy and Joan Edwards, who donated funds for the center. Roy Edwards died in 1987. Joan Edwards lives in Mission Hills.
The 15-acre tract on which the center is built was donated by Clay Blair, who also was honored at the dedication.