Overland Park Nick Shigouri has seen the trend.
His fellow classmates at Kansas University's Edwards Campus drive to campus and walk to class. When class is dismissed, they walk to their cars and drive home.
"That's pretty much the way it's been," said Shigouri, a junior who's been attending classes at the Edwards Campus for a year. "But it's only been that way because there was a lack of space for hanging out."
That should change Monday, when the Edwards Campus opens Jayhawk Central, its first student union, complete with a coffee shop, bookstore, wireless Internet access and plenty of couches and chairs for students to gather. There also is space for a retail food vendor in the future.
"My guess is we're going to see students using it both before and after class," said Bob Clark, dean and vice chancellor for the Edwards Campus. "Most classes start at 3 or 4 in the afternoon, so students don't have an opportunity to go home after work and before class."
The Edwards Campus has been open since 1992, providing classes predominately to working adults.
The KU Endowment Association purchased the 20,000-square-foot building on Quivira Road in 2003. It's a few hundred feet from the two existing buildings at the Edwards Campus, the Regents Center and Regnier Hall, which opened last year.
The top floor of the building will serve as the student union. The bottom floor will be reserved for future faculty research space.
KU Memorial Unions is contracted to provide services at Jayhawk Central. PT's Coffee, based in Topeka, will serve drinks, and the KU Bookstore will sell books and KU gear.
Clark said he's had interest from several restaurants to move into vacant space, but nothing has been finalized.
There's a Jayhawk on the floor and Jayhawk scenes on the walls to remind students they're part of the larger university. There also are plans for a computerized kiosk with information about KU.
Shigouri, the student, said Jayhawk Central should make the Edwards Campus less like a few buildings and more like an actual campus.
"It gives students a place to meet and converse with each other," he said. "It allows the students to be more personable."
Several activities are scheduled next week to coincide with the opening of Jayhawk Central, the new student union at Kansas University's Edwards Campus: ¢ 8:30 a.m. Tuesday: Ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new building ¢ 5:30 p.m. Thursday: Question and answer session with KU women's basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson at Regnier Hall, followed at 6 p.m. by kids' activities at Jayhawk Central and an autograph session with Henrickson at 6:15 p.m. ¢ 6:30 p.m. Friday: Free picnic and "All Things KU" festival, followed at 7:30 p.m. by a bluegrass concert with the Midday Ramblers