A Lenexa-based architectural firm has been hired as the designer for Kansas University's Dole Institute for Public Service and Public Policy.
A former faculty member at Kansas University's School of Architecture was formally elected Wednesday to design the building named for Russell's favorite son, 1996 presidential candidate Bob Dole.
After a two-and-a-half-hour meeting Wednesday afternoon, officials with Kansas University and the state architect's office agreed to hire ASAI of Lenexa, headed by Steve Abend.
``We're very impressed with his design qualifications, and I think we're looking forward to a first-rate building,'' said Burdett Loomis, KU professor of political science and interim director of the Dole Institute. ``I really do feel very comfortable with him as a designer.''
Prominent ASAI designs include Topeka's Kansas Center for Historical Research, the new Charles Evans Whittaker Federal Courthouse in Kansas City, Mo., and the restored and expanded Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Mo.
University architect Warren Corman said there were a few outstanding issues that needed resolving, such as payment for certain design phases and the number of consultants to use. Corman added that would probably occur within a week.
Final financial figures are not being released until the formal agreement is signed.
``It looks like we're in good shape,'' Corman said. ``I think we've got a fair fee.''
The group, including Loomis, Corman, KU dean of information services Bill Crowe, Dole archivist Bryan Culp and Kansas Board of Regents architect Eric King, probably will not meet with Abend again until mid-August.
The planned $6 million facility will house the former senator's political papers and memorabilia and also will be used for conferences and special events.
The 30,000-square-foot building will be located just west of the Lied Center parking lot on KU's West Campus. Bids for construction will follow the upcoming design phase. The institute is slated for completion by fall 2000.
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