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Archive for Friday, April 17, 1998

BUILDING, RENOVATION PROJECTS SLATED FOR KU CAMPUS

April 17, 1998

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KU will see significant changes in landscape and building make-up during the next several years.

In a revised master plan released last fall, Kansas University officials pinpointed $258 million in immediate and foreseeable structural and landscape changes for the campus. And the alterations touch virtually every corner of KU's seven million square feet of buildings and the 950 acres on which they sit.

Immediate projects include $6 million for the levels below the newly renovated Budig Hall; a $10 million parking garage just north of the Kansas Union; and almost $35 million in renovations for Memorial Stadium, Allen Fieldhouse and Hoglund-Maupin Stadium.

An Allen Fieldhouse annex will be built in the space currently occupied by tennis courts west of the building. In addition, the fieldhouse will receive improvements to the doorways, walkways and restrooms to bring it up to date with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

Also, the first phase of reconstruction of the internal structure under the east and west sides of Memorial Stadium, mostly consisting of concessions areas, restrooms and storage space, began in November and should be finished in August.

Improvements to the baseball stadium are slated for completion by early summer, said KU planning coordinator Tom Waechter.

Future work

Generally speaking, planners envision campus walkways connecting and sprouting into attractive plazas, expanded green space and major renovations to a number of KU's essential buildings, including Watson Library, Wescoe Hall, Learned Hall and Murphy Hall.

Even Jayhawk Boulevard has been pinpointed for special improvements, possibly including the removal of parking from the oft-traveled campus street, and the introduction of a transit circulation system and information kiosks.

A number of the projects will be included in KU's capital improvements list, submitted annually to the Legislature in early April.

``Another one we may add to the list is the housing renovation of Louis Hall,'' Waechter said, referring to improvements that would mimic those already completed inside Templin Hall.

Another planned project is a $7.6 million library repository and a $25 million undergraduate science teaching building.

``That's all future work,'' Waechter said. ``There isn't any funding lined up either for the library or the undergraduate teaching facility.''

Continuing change

The master plan is the first comprehensive look at a campus overhaul since the early 1970s, when there was no Anschutz Science Library, no Dole Building, no Green Hall and a computer center still under construction.

"When you look back over the past 20 years, you realize that this place will continue to change and evolve," Waechter said.

The plans for KU's future essentially have two "guiding goals," as KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway has noted. The goals: preserving the beauty of Mount Oread and creating an environment that shows respect for learning.

"This is one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation, if not the world," Hemenway said. "We must preserve its beauty for those who come after us."

Crumbling Classrooms initiatives will bring $16.7 million in improvements to electrical wiring and in bringing buildings up to ADA standards. Electrical substations throughout campus will also be retooled; the installation of a campuswide loop would protect buildings from power failures.

Although Potter Lake is more than safe, environmental and historical interests could be rankled by a few of the proposed changes, including the new research lab facility slated for construction on the hillside below Wescoe Hall.

Also, the parking garage to be built north of the union would involve getting rid of the Continuing Education Division building, which long ago housed the Pi Beta Phi sorority.

Visitor traffic and the good location prompted the site choice for the new parking garage.

Also on the drawing board

The following projects are among the projects either under way or in the works:

  • Adams Alumni Center renovation -- $1.3 million
  • Watkins Health Center addition and renovation -- $4.5 million
  • Campus landscape master plan implementation, including changes along Jayhawk Boulevard -- $2 million
  • Renovation and addition to Joseph R. Pearson Hall, which is expected to house the school of education -- $14 million
  • Murphy Hall improvements -- $10 million
  • Construction of a child care facility west of Anschutz Sports Pavilion -- $3.3 million
  • Templin Hall visitors center, including a relocated KU office of admissions, presentation space and a bus drop-off -- $1.1 million
  • Construction of the Dole Institute of Public Service and Public Policy -- $6 million
  • Lewis Hall renovations -- $5.9 million.

Matt Gowen's phone message number is 832-7222. His e-mail address is gowen@ljworld.com.

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