Topeka — Higher education officials on Wednesday endorsed two major building projects totaling more than $83 million on the Kansas University campus, and the destruction of a residence hall.
The Kansas Board of Regents approved moving the proposed $65.74 million School of Business building into KU's current fiscal year capital improvement request, and construction by the KU Endowment Association of the proposed $18 million "Rules of Basket Ball" museum and student activity center.
The regents also approved KU's plan to raze the 10-story McCollum Hall and replace it with two new residence halls in a project that will cost $47.8 million.
The 166,000 square-foot School of Business building will be funded with private gifts and university resources. Earlier this month, officials announced a $20 million gift for the building from the foundation of Capitol Federal Savings of Topeka.
KU will now seek approval from the Legislature during the 2013 session, which starts in January, for bond authority for the full amount of the project in the event pledges span several years. Construction on the project is not expected until late next year.
Summerfield Hall, which currently houses the School of Business and has approximately 56,590 square feet, will be converted for other uses.
The proposed "Rules of Basket Ball" museum will be built as an addition to Allen Fieldhouse to house James Naismith's original rules of basketball.
The museum will be alongside the Booth Family Hall of Athletics inside Allen Fieldhouse. The focal point of the museum will be Naismith's original rules, which were purchased for $4.3 million by David Booth, a Texas-based investor, who donated them to KU.
There will also be a large public plaza off Naismith Drive. The project will be funded with private gifts and constructed by the KU Endowment Association, and once finished turned over to the university.
Regarding the destruction of McCollum Hall, which has about 720 students, KU officials said renovation of the building wasn't an option.
But McCollum won't be torn down until the two new residence halls, which will house 350 students each, are completed by the fall 2015 semester.
In other business, KU got some good news from the Internal Revenue Service.
The school had earlier estimated that it would receive a refund of approximately $15 million in FICA taxes plus interest paid on medical residents.
Now that figure is more like $20 million, KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said Wednesday.
The refund is related to payroll taxes paid back in the 1990s.
The FICA refund has already been plugged into KU's proposal to build a new medical education building at the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan.
Now that the refund will be larger, Gray-Little said she would still like all of it to go toward that project.
Under KU's proposal, the building's estimated cost of $75 million was to be funded with the refund, private dollars and a state appropriation.