Rockhurst University is planning a classroom and faculty office building that is scheduled to break ground next spring and be completed by fall 2015.
The project was approved by the university board of trustees and will be built in what is now a parking lot south of the campus bell tower. When completed, the plan calls for historic Sedgwick Hall to be remodeled to accommodate administrative offices.
The new building is part of a 20-year master plan developed for the 55-acre campus at 52nd Street and Troost Avenue in 2011.
“From an educational standpoint, we’re excited to offer the latest technology in instruction delivery,” said the Rev. Thomas B. Curran, president of Rockhurst. “We’re also excited to continue our investment in this neighborhood where we like to say we are in the city for good.”
The Rockhurst trustees approved moving forward with the project after meeting its fund raising goal of $24.5 million this month. The university will now receive a $500,000 challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Okla.
The university is now working to raise money for phase two, an addition that would convert a 500-seat auditorium into a theater with production facilities to accommodate campus and community events. Together, the new academic building and renovation projects are valued at $33 million.
“Ideally, we will have the go-ahead for the second phase of the project in March when we break ground,” said Bob Grant, vice president of university advancement.
Gould Evans Associates is the architect, and J.E. Dunn Construction will be the general contractor.