MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Kansas State University is increasing its popular on-campus housing options with a $70 million project.
The Kansas Board of Regents approved the university's plan to construct a new residence hall and dining center on the west side of campus that will open fall 2015. In addition, the university plans to repurpose a dining center and renovate two residence halls by fall 2016.
The university is preparing for future enrollment growth, and the project will better serve the academic needs of students by enhancing the on-campus living environment. The additions are the most significant residence hall upgrades in more than 45 years and will advance K-State 2025, the university's strategic plan.
"These vital improvements demonstrate the university's commitment toward our students and will further enhance the undergraduate experience at K-State as we become a Top 50 public university by 2025," said President Kirk Schulz.
A new 450-bed, 129,036-square-foot residence hall in the Kramer Complex on Claflin Road will be west of Denison Avenue and east of Kramer Dining Center. A new 57,996-square-foot dining center connecting to the new residence hall and Marlatt and Goodnow halls will serve 1,850 students.
The new residence hall will become a hub for student life and will feature academic spaces to encourage collaboration, said Derek Jackson, director of housing and dining services at Kansas State University.
"We envision opportunities for tutoring, study sessions and academic involvement for our students," he said. "We better understand now that learning does not just happen in the classroom environment, and our new residence hall will integrate space within student living to further engage K-State students."
The demand for on-campus housing is expected to grow to 6,632 students by 2025, according to university projections, but current capacity is for 5,469 residents.
"K-State has a long tradition of providing our students one of the best residential experiences in the country," said Pat Bosco, vice president for student life and dean of students. "This new residence hall, the renovation of Goodnow and Marlatt, and a new dining center ensures that K-State will continue to put students first for a very long time."
After construction of the two new facilities, Kramer Dining Center will house a steam and chilled water generator, and Goodnow and Marlatt halls will be renovated. These renovations include heating, ventilation and air conditioning improvements and accessibility upgrades to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act. The roof of Goodnow will be replaced as well.
Construction will be phased to minimize the impact on students. Kramer Dining Center will not close until the new dining center is completed, and the university will not lose any student housing during the process.
Funding for the project comes from housing fees and revenue bonds. Housing and dining services receives no money from the state, city or university.
The university has been planning the project for several years and has worked with Ayers Saint Gross, which is updating the university's campus master plan; Ricca Newmark Design; Envision Strategies; and MGT of America Inc. The project has included surveys, studies, discussions and focus groups involving students, faculty and staff.
The university has undergone several recent housing additions. Housing and dining services continues to redevelop the Jardine Apartments community, and it opened the Living Community at Claflin west of campus in 2012. In 2010, the university partnered with a local hotel and area apartment complexes to provide temporary overflow housing.
The last residence hall complex built at the university was the Derby Complex, constructed between 1962 and 1967, and includes Ford, Haymaker, Moore and West halls.
Other projects under way to better serve students at the university include an addition to the College of Engineering complex, a new welcome center at Memorial Stadium and a renovation of the K-State Student Union.