KU unveils 10-year master plan for Lawrence campus

03/13/2014 10:38 AM

03/13/2014 10:42 AM

The University of Kansas' 10-year master plan would expand academic and research programs and tie sections of the Lawrence campus together, if the university can find millions of dollars to fund it, school officials said.

The university previewed the plan Wednesday for the Kansas Board of Regents, which unanimously approved the summary document. The final plan, which will offer specific details about space, classroom use and land use, will be released in the spring, The Lawrence Journal-World reported.

"As you can imagine, the challenge, now that we have this beautiful plan, is how to get the resources to do that," Chancellor Bernadette Little-Gray told the regents. "We are working on all aspects of that."

The plan includes a proposal for housing for upper-level and graduate students and retail space, with a focus on luring international students, Provost Jeffrey Vitter said.

Another proposal would connect natural, physical and life sciences with engineering and pharmacy buildings by creating an "Innovation Way" from Haworth Hall on the central campus to a new "Research Partnership Zone" on west Campus, at an estimated cost of $800 million, Vitter said.

The corridor would include an Earth, Energy and Environment Center, which the university hopes to get underway this year or next, he said. University officials said they are seeking public-private partnerships to help fund "Innovation Way."

Other proposals include improvements along Jayhawk Boulevard, preservation of cultural and historic resources, new storm water runoff systems, a new Jayhawk Trail through most of the campus and expansion of Anschutz Library.

The plan forecasts a 12 percent increase in undergraduate enrollment and 22 percent increase in graduate students in the next 10 years, increasing student population to 26,000. Planners also said the university needed to increase its research space by 40 percent.

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