Regents to discuss KU football practice facility, housing and meal fee hikes

The Kansas football team practices inside Anschutz Pavilion, Monday, March 13, 2017. The practice was the first of the spring for the Jayhawks, including quarterbacks (from left) Carter Stanley, Peyton Bender and Tyriek Starks.

The Kansas Board of Regents will be asked Wednesday to authorize the University of Kansas to build a $26 million indoor practice facility for its men’s football team.

The board will conduct its regular monthly meeting Wednesday on the campus of Wichita State University.

It also will be asked to approve housing and meal plan fee increases at all six state universities.

The indoor practice facility is just one part of a planned $300 million renovation for Memorial Stadium.

The facility would be located on the site of existing outdoor practice fields just southeast of the stadium. Currently, the only indoor practice facility is in the Anschutz Sports Pavilion near Allen Fieldhouse, which KU officials note is a 23-minute walk from the stadium and the Anderson Family Football Complex where the team trains.

KU officials say their goal is to build a facility with amenities that are on par with those available elsewhere in the Big 12 conference. Although sketches of the proposed facility are not yet available, university officials say it will be designed to blend in with the surrounding environment without detracting from or overwhelming the aesthetic character of Memorial Stadium and Campanile Hill.

The Board of Regents, which supervises higher education in Kansas, must approve the project before it can go forward. KU officials have said they hope to begin construction as soon as possible after the 2017 season ends Nov. 25.

In September, the board authorized a $10 million upgrade to the Horejsi Family Athletics Center and a $12 million upgrade for Hoglund Ballpark on the KU campus.

Also on the agenda for Wednesday’s meeting are adjustments for next year to each university’s housing and food service fees.

KU is proposing increases of 2.7 to 2.9 percent in housing costs. That would raise the cost of a double room in Ellsworth, Hashinger and GSP residence halls to $6,084 a year, while the cost of a double room with a bath in a four-person suite at Lewis, Templin and Ellsworth would climb to $6,430.

Rates in the newer residence halls would go up 3 percent next year, under the plan KU is presenting. That means the cost of a two-person single suite in Oswald-Self and Downs residence halls would climb to $9,804, while a four-person, two-bath suite in Downs would climb to $10,170.

KU officials say the new rates reflect rising costs in operating student housing, including the cost of utilities, maintenance, staff salaries and benefits and, new starting next year, resident laundry.

KU is also proposing an increase of 2.8 percent, to $4,266, for a dining plan that includes 14 meals per week.