Regents approve apartments for men’s basketball players; project will be named in honor of Marie S. McCarthy

? The Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday authorized construction of new apartments near Allen Fieldhouse for Kansas University men’s basketball players.

The regents also approved a request from KU to name the apartments in honor of Marie S. McCarthy.

She is the late mother of Kent McCarthy, who with his wife, Missy, made a lead gift earlier this year to finance the project. They have donated to KU for many years. The amount of that gift has not been released.

Both actions by the regents were unanimous and made without comment.

KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said Marie S. McCarthy, who died in 2013, attended KU on a math scholarship “and maintained a lifelong love of the university.”

Construction of the apartments is expected to start within the next few months with scheduled completion set for August 2015.

The first phase of the project is expected to cost $11.9 million and will feature furnished two- and three-bedroom units, common spaces and an enclosed athletic court.

KU officials have said the apartments are needed to help recruit top talent.

When the lead gift was announced, KU men’s basketball coach Bill Self said, “These things are very, very significant for the benefit, development and overall experience of our student-athletes. We want them to be comfortable and have the same type of living conditions as the programs we’re recruiting against.”

The apartments will house 39 students, some of them on the men’s basketball team. Under NCAA requirements, no more than 49 percent of the residents will be student-athletes.