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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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