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Archive for Sunday, August 16, 2009

KU unveils renovated Jayhawker Towers

Kansas University sophomore Sarah Hicks, Bennington, searches Friday for a spot to hang her poster of country music star Taylor Swift with her younger brother Josh Hicks, 16, in Tower A of Jayhawker Towers Apartments. Renovations to Tower A involve new bedroom fixtures, kitchen appliances and kitchen fixtures.

Kansas University sophomore Sarah Hicks, Bennington, searches Friday for a spot to hang her poster of country music star Taylor Swift with her younger brother Josh Hicks, 16, in Tower A of Jayhawker Towers Apartments. Renovations to Tower A involve new bedroom fixtures, kitchen appliances and kitchen fixtures.

August 16, 2009

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As cars, pickup trucks and U-Hauls pulled up to Jayhawker Towers on Friday crammed with furniture and other belongings, Stephanie Chase took a break from moving to look at her newly renovated apartment.

“It was really, like, ’70s-looking before,” the junior from Atchison said. “Now, it’s really sleek-looking.”

The $8 million worth of renovations to Tower A — home to many student-athletes — has been completed for this semester after being expedited at the request of Kansas Athletics and basketball coach Bill Self.

Chase, like many moving in on Friday, said she enjoyed the on-campus location of the more than 40-year-old buildings and had many friends moving in, too. The renovations played a role in their decision to locate there, she said.

“I just like how open and homey it feels,” she said.

Diana Robertson, KU’s director of student housing, said the cost of the renovations will be paid for with higher fees collected from the residents living in the renovated space.

Living in a newly renovated area costs about $800 more for a person living in a four-person room and nearly $1,400 more for a two-person room.

The added costs put the price of living in the building at $3,630 for a four-person apartment per year and $6,388 for a two-person apartment.

There’s some new drywall on some of the old brick walls in the 72 apartments, and the tower now has its own laundry facility, Robertson said. However, much of the renovations will be things residents will never see.

“There’s lots of behind-the-wall stuff,” such as plumbing, wiring and flooring upgrades, Robertson said. The tower also has new energy-efficient windows and heating and cooling, along with a new security system.

Robertson said the department wanted to give students the choice of paying more for more amenities.

“I think students will probably most notice the new kitchens and bathrooms,” Robertson said.

Both areas have received major upgrades; several rooms now feature a kitchen island, along with other appliances.

Brock Templeman, a junior from Overland Park, lived in Tower C last year and said the differences were everywhere. He pointed out new lighting systems that made the dreary-looking rooms from last year stand out more, and said that was just a start.

“We have a dishwasher,” he said, while pointing things out in his new four-person room. “New appliances and even a digital thermostat.”

He most looked forward to the new wireless Internet service, after having to run a cable from the main room to his bedroom last year.

Even the desks are new, and much improved, Templeman said.

“They were tattered and beat up,” he said. “I mean, they were from the ’70s.”

Now that renovations to Tower A are completed, work will begin this semester on renovations to Tower D, Robertson said, with similar scope and costs.

Comments

mizzou_jayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

hawks090: You make a good point that she could have bought the sign, however the KU rules still forbid having such signs in the dorms/campus housing. Additionally most off the shelf retail signs do not contain retroreflective elements. This is evident by the sign being overexposed in the photo due to the presence of such sheeting. Still there might be a small possibility that it was obtained through legal means, but that only matters for State law and means nothing for the KU housing rules, which forbid such signs regardless of how they were obtained.

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hawks090 4 years, 8 months ago

mizzou_jayhawk this is pertaining to your comment. It's not illegal if she bought it from a store and it's a fake. How do you know it's real? Exactly. There's no way you do. And if she did buy it from a store, (which she probably did because she also probably knows that it is illegal to have possession of a street sign,) then it's perfectly legal to have anywhere you want it.

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mizzou_jayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Looks like the LJWorld photographer caught the girl pictured (Sarah Hicks) red-handed in violation of KU Housing Policies and Procedures for possession of a street sign.

The rule reads: "Residents may not have signs in their rooms/suites/apartments which are intended for use in other places. This includes traffic signs, road construction barricades, Student Housing or University signs, etc. State law forbids personal possession of road signs. " Taken from: http://www.housing.ku.edu/handbook/policies.shtml

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Bunny_Hotcakes 4 years, 8 months ago

@Marshalus Back in the 1990s, when I lived there, no. Tower A was reserved for graduate students, Tower B was women only, Tower C was coed by floor, and Tower D was coed by apartment. C & D had the highest concentration of athletes, with D being the domain of the football players--and, incidentally, the housing building with the highest rate of vandalism. I think they've changed things a fair bit since then (undergrads in Tower A is a big change) but there are plenty of non-athletes that live there.

Between the new parking lots and the renovated apartments, it sounds like it's shaping up to be a pretty spiffy place to live. When I lived there, the two nicest things were the lack of a 12 month lease and the location. The rest of it pretty much sucked.

  • The old garage was threatening to collapse and let Emery Road slide down the hill. Fun!
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b_asinbeer 4 years, 8 months ago

No. Other than student athletes, most students who live there pay their own way.

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Michael Stanclift 4 years, 8 months ago

Aren't most of the people who live at JT student athletes who already get full rides anyway? Increasing the rent just seems like it would increase the cost to the university.

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kuslaves 4 years, 8 months ago

“There’s lots of behind-the-wall stuff,” such as plumbing, wiring and flooring upgrades, Robertson said. "

Well mesothelioma....and all that nasty asbestos was removed from the pipes floor and textured ceilings...

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StirrrThePot 4 years, 8 months ago

“It was really, like, ’70s-looking before,” the junior from Atchison said. “Now, it’s really sleek-looking"

LOL, that's what many of us thought when I was a student at KU in the mid '90s--that they were "70s looking". The dorms looked even older than that during that time too as those were not renovated until I had left KU. I remember seeing photos of Lewis Hall in the 60s and it didn't look any different from when I lived there from '93-'95. JT was always a cool place, I am glad they are making some needed changes there.

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