KU officials are setting the stage for a massive campus renovation.
Construction managers at Kansas University may need to build a vault for millions of dollars piling up on campus for renovations.
KU officials are expected to receive permission from the Kansas Board of Regents next week to proceed with $37 million in projects.
"At least the first year, we'll be going nuts," Dave Schaecher, program manager in KU's design and construction management office, said Thursday.
Most of the projects were part of the "crumbling classrooms" initiative passed by the 1996 Legislature. The program, advanced by regents and Gov. Bill Graves, targets $163 million for building construction and repair on the six regents university campuses.
Money to complete these projects over the next three or four years will be derived from issuance of bonds. That debt will be repaid over 15 years with revenue from an existing statewide tax.
Schaecher said it would be difficult to coordinate construction with KU's academic calendar and erratic Kansas weather.
Much of the work will address fire code and handicapped accessibility violations. Mechanical and electrical systems must be upgraded. Classrooms and laboratories also will be brought up to par.
Top priorities are a $12 million renovation of the Pearson Hall dormitory for the School of Education and a $9.7 million renovation and addition to Murphy Hall, a performing arts facility. Regents granted tentative approval for those projects.
Next Thursday, KU will seek permission to move ahead with planning for the following renovations:
- $3.4 million in Malott Hall, which contains science labs and classrooms.
- $2.1 million for Strong Hall, the main administration building.
- $3.2 million at Dyche Hall, Fraser Hall, Green Hall, Learned Hall, Lippincott Hall, Blake Hall, Dole Center, Art & Design, Robinson Center and Snow Hall.
- $1 million for a new boiler in the power plant.
Schaecher said an additional $3 million in crumbling classroom projects would be handled internally by KU staff.
Another set of projects will be forwarded to regents this fall, he said.
In this round -- separate from the crumbling classrooms -- are improvements to student housing, creation of new office space and completion of a computer laboratory in Budig Hall.
More than $800,000 was earmarked to reroof seven Stauffer Place apartment buildings, housing units for married students at 19th and Iowa. Funding will come from KU housing.
Another $750,000 will transform an unused dormitory cafeteria in Templin Hall into staff offices.
KU officials also will ask regents to approve allocation of $767,000 to prepare space in Budig Hall for a computer lab.
About 125 work stations for students, faculty and staff will fit in the room. That would double the number of stations on campus.
Warren Corman, regents director of facilities, said officials on all six campuses were working on crumbling classroom projects.
Enough qualified architects and contractors exist to handle the university business, he said.
"It's big," Corman said. "Fortunately, not as big as the Atlanta Olympics."