LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas is halfway through a multimillion-dollar project to renovate the university’s eight older scholarship halls.
The halls being renovated were built between the 1920s and the 1950s, housing director Diana Robertson told the Lawrence Journal-World.
She said the work includes overhauling heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical infrastructure. The work will also include remodeling the halls’ community kitchens as well as cosmetic updates like new paint and furniture. The cost to renovate all eight halls is about $15.3 million.
“This is an aggressive effort to breathe new life into that infrastructure and keep these halls viable for another 30 to 40 years,” she said.
Renovations to four of the halls were completed in 2014 and 2015, at a cost of about $1.8 million apiece, Robertson said. Others are scheduled for 2017 and 2018.
This summer, work is underway at the university’s two oldest scholarship halls: Miller, built in 1927, and Watkins, built in 1926. Project costs are estimated at $2 million for Miller and $2.1 million for Watkins, according to the university’s capital improvement plan.
The university’s student housing repair and reserve funds are paying for most of the scholarship hall renovations, along with some donations, Robertson said.
“We charge less for students to live there, so it’s very challenging,” she said.
The scholarship halls are cooperative living buildings and cost about $2,000 less per year than residence halls, said Kip Grosshans, the university’s Student Housing associate director. Residents do their own cleaning, cook their own group meals and organize their own shifts for those duties.