Designs revealed for new KU student housing facilities coming to 19th Street

Central District residence hall, apartment complex to open within next two years

This rendering shows the new apartment complex planned to be constructed in Kansas University’s Central District by fall 2018, on the northwest corner of 19th Street and Ousdahl Drive. This view would be from 19th Street, looking northeast.

Kansas University has shared designs and more details about the new residence hall, dining facility and apartment complex that will soon be constructed in the Central District.

Their look is a far cry from the quaint brick Stouffer Place family apartment buildings that had dotted the same hillside since 1957. Like more than one other newly constructed building on campus, the new facilities are large, rectangular, four- to five-stories and feature quite a bit of glass.

Combined, they’ll provide beds for more than 1,250 KU students.

Once open KU expects them both to be full, KU Student Housing director Diana Robertson said.

“We need the new beds specifically because we’re increasing enrollment, so that is to help us accommodate that first-year class,” she said of the residence hall, envisioned primarily for freshmen.

The apartment building will be for scholarship athletes, upperclassmen and graduate students.

Robertson said a market analysis showed that many upperclassmen who move off campus are seeking more privacy, even though they like the convenience and amenities of campus living.

Aging Stouffer Place had reached the end of its useful life, KU officials have said, but renovating or rebuilding it to modern standards would have been too expensive to keep the low rates that attracted married students or students with children for years. Many graduate students lived at Stouffer Place, too, however, and the new apartments are hoped to appeal to them.

“We’re not going to be back in the family housing business, but we’re certainly going to be able to serve graduate students with that private bedroom, private bathroom setup,” Robertson said.

Jayhawker Towers “remains quite popular” with students and will continue to be used after the new apartment building opens, Robertson said.

Towers A and D were renovated about six years ago, and towers B and C are slated for renovations around 2019 or 2020, she said.

Here is more information from KU Student Housing about the new — and yet-to-be-named — Central District housing facilities.

Residence hall with dining facility

Location: 19th Street and Naismith Drive, behind Oliver Hall. The new dining facility — which will replace the one currently in use at Oliver — will connect Oliver and the new residence hall. The residence hall will be composed of two buildings, a west and an east building.

Opening: Fall 2017

Cost: $43.9 million

Beds: 545

Residents: Primarily freshmen

Unit types offered: All suites — including four-person, two-person or two-person with a private bedroom for each resident. (Similar to the new Oswald and Self halls on Daisy Hill, which opened in fall 2015.)

Other notes: A central academic service center that will be used by residents of Oliver Hall and the new residence hall. For access, 18th Street will be extended further west.

Apartment complex

Location: Northwest corner of 19th Street and Ousdahl Drive. The complex will have a north building and a south building.

Opening: Fall 2018

Cost: $59.2 million

Beds: 708

Residents: Scholarship athletes, upperclassmen and graduate students

Unit types offered: Two-bedroom/two-bathroom or four-bedroom/four-bathroom. (Jayhawker Towers is all two-bedroom/one-bathroom, though some are offered as four-person units, with two residents to a room.)

Other notes: The buildings, both U-shaped, enclose a central grassy area. For access, Ousdahl will be extended further north, meeting 18th Street in a roundabout.

The city has already begun work to reconstruct the intersection of 19th and Ousdahl. Construction is expected to continue until early August.