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KU finalizes contract with developer for Central District project

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

LAWRENCE — After nearly three years of planning, the University of Kansas is now ready to get started on a transformative campus redevelopment project.

KU today finalized its contract with Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate for the university’s Central District redevelopment project, an ambitious three-year undertaking that will transform the Lawrence campus with new spaces and facilities for learning and research.

Construction will begin in early 2016.

“This is an exciting day for the University of Kansas and, more broadly, for the state and society we serve,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “The Central District project will transform our physical campus and the way our community of scholars learn, work and collaborate. Once completed, this project positions us to continue providing a world-class education and to continue doing innovative research and discovery that changes the world.”

The Central District project includes a number of innovative facilities, including a new integrated science facility, as well as new and renovated learning and living structures such as student residence halls with built-in classrooms, study areas, and advising and tutoring centers. The project also includes desperately needed infrastructure and utilities upgrades, open green space, apartments, retail areas, and a new pedestrian and bicycle trail. The redevelopment will start with a new residence and dining hall going up near Oliver Hall, to be constructed by fall 2017.

The university has been planning the Central District redevelopment project for nearly three years, working both on physical plans and the creation of a unique public-private partnership funding model. The Central District project received preliminary approval from the Kansas Board of Regents on November 18, and then final approval from the Board’s Fiscal Affairs and Audit Committee a few weeks later.

The Central District project will be funded through a combination of savings realized through Changing for Excellence – the university’s cost-savings initiative – growth in enrollment, student fees, support from alumni and friends, and business and revenue-generating aspects such as parking and student housing.

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Museum Events

Red Hot Research: Graduate Edition
Friday, November 17 | 4 p.m.-5:30 a.m.
The Commons, Spooner Hall, 1340 Jayhawk Blvd.
Red Hot Research brings together scholars from all disciplines, speaking for six minutes each in Pecha Kucha–inspired presentations. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and each other during breaks. This session features graduate student research.

Slow Art Sunday: Amida Buddha (Amitabha) 
Sunday, November 19 | 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 407, 1301 Mississippi St
Slow down at the Spencer and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff. In November, get to know Amida Buddha (Amitabha).

Performance: Aspects of Liszt 
Sunday, November 19 | 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 317, Sam and Connie Perkins Central Court, 1301 Mississippi St
Distinguished Emmy-winning author, critic, radio and film producer David Dubal joins KU international concert artist Steven Spooner in an afternoon of piano music from the era of the Spencer Museum’s origins and fascinating commentary on the legendary Franz Liszt. This concert is part of the Museum’s centennial celebration of our collection.

Day After Thanksgiving Program: Magic Marbles 
Friday, November 24 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The National Museum of Toys/Miniatures, 5235 Oak St. Kansas City, MO
It’s a day of marble magic with fun for the entire family. Explore the museum’s special exhibit Playing for Keeps: The VFW Marble Tournaments, 1947-1962, and try your hand at “knuckling down” during a marble lesson. Then, pick out your own marble and turn it into a piece of wearable art to take home with you. Included with museum admission.

Global Film Festival
Thursday, November 30 | 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Rm. 309 1301 Mississippi St
Curated by first-year students, the Global Film Festival features four films exploring ideas in Spencer Museum exhibitions. This film is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Power Clashing: Clothing, Collage, and Contemporary Identities. The film will be announced on the Museum’s website.

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