Washburn University Looks To Future Space Needs

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Washburn University is turning an eye toward the future.

The school's Board of Regents heard a presentation Wednesday on a master plan for the campus.

WU President Dr. Jerry Farley says the goal is to develop a comprehensive plan for campus buildings and landscaping to ensure it meets the future needs of students and visitors. He says, as buildings are added or expanded, planners must ensure people can move about the campus efficiently.

Included in the map are three projects for the near term. Among them is a new crime lab for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, which is proposed in the governor's budget. The map tentatively calls for it to be places between SW 21st and Durrow, on the south side of campus.

Farley says it is exciting to have the state consider Washburn for a partnership such as this. He says KBI scientists could assist in teaching forensic science students and faculty. He also foresees internship possibilities and, eventually, Washburn graduates becoming the KBI's next generation of forensic scientists. Plus, he says, it would be a high-tech facility meeting the KBI's needs.

The lab is said to have a price tag around $54 million, including construction and outfitting it with equipment. Debate on funding is just getting underway in the Kansas Legislature.

The other two near-term projects in the plan are renovating Morgan Hall for a formal campus welcoming center and a new law school building at SW 21st and Washburn.