Sabatini Multicultural Resource Centerh
From below Mount Oread, nestled between several large Kansas University buildings, it was easy to miss the small wooden structure that housed the Multicultural Resource Center.
About six years have gone into revamping the center in an effort to promote and celebrate diversity on the KU campus. That goal should be better served in the new 7,000-square-foot Sabatini Multicultural Resource Center.
It's been a long journey, said Santos NÃ°Ã±ez Galicia, program director.
"There were a lot of downs and there were times where there were lots of ups, and now that we're on top of the hill we're very excited about that," she said.
The center, one of just a few free-standing university cultural resource centers in the country, now rests in a prominent position on the north side of the Kansas Union on Jayhawk Boulevard.
The original building was built in 1995 near the Military Science Building.
Shyam Mehta, a sophomore from India and one of 10 tutors for the Multicultural Resource Center, said he was grateful for the change.
"We were really crammed over there, and obviously this is more spacious; this is beautiful," he said. "I mean we were not noticed over there; no one knew of that building over there. But right now this is the most happening place."
On Friday, the center was on full display for the public and many of the people who have contributed to its existence. The building, which features windows and interior colors designed to reflect the diverse color of people's skin, was packed with at least 100 people during the dedication.
The building was funded by a $1 million gift from the Sabatini Family Foundation and student fees approved by the KU Student Senate.
"We have a lot of new initiatives," NÃ°Ã±ez Galicia said.
The center will initiate a cultural district to collaborate on projects with KU departments and community entities, she said.
"Because of our more centralized location, because of our much larger, much nicer space, we really hope to do some new programs and things that will really advance KU to the forefront of multicultural education," she said.