KU Edwards Campus grows again with opening of a third building

KUEC News Release

OVERLAND PARK , KAN. — A new 20,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility on the University of Kansas Edwards Campus opens today, providing needed services and casual learning and meeting space for students as they begin the fall 2005 academic year.

Jayhawk Central houses an expanded KU bookstore, coffee shop, KU online information center and space for a retail food vendor. The lower-level is reserved for research space by KU faculty. Located at 12520 Quivira Road, the building is on the north end of campus adjacent to the new student parking lot, giving students and visitors easy and convenient access.

“The driving force behind Jayhawk Central has been our students,” said Bob Clark, vice chancellor of the Edwards Campus. “In a survey conducted two years ago, the need for a student center was expressed loudly and clearly.”

In fall 2004, Gould Evans Goodman conducted a charrette to guide the design and plans for the new facility. Focus groups were conducted with students, KU Edwards Campus alumni, staff and faculty. 

Jayhawk Central includes a café area with seating for 80 people, wireless Internet access for laptop users, ATM, outdoor terrace with seating for 20 people, 50-inch plasma screen with KU event promotions and satellite TV capability; sound system with XM satellite radio and a 5-foot diameter Jayhawk floor inset.

Kansas University Endowment Association purchased the building on behalf of the KU Edwards Campus. University officials identified that the building would be best utilized as a student union and space for research.

With the addition of Jayhawk Central, the Edwards Campus has grown in physical space by nearly 200 percent in the last two years. In August 2004, the campus opened Regnier Hall, a new 82,000 square-foot classroom building featuring 21 classrooms, a 240-seat auditorium and offices for 45 faculty members. The campus has a second classroom building, Regents Center, which was constructed in 1992 and is 55,000 square feet.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to create a student center on this rapidly growing campus,” said David Mucci, KU Memorial Unions director. “Jayhawk Central will provide the services and community center students need and desire.”

Clark said he anticipates Jayhawk Central will also serve as a destination for the public and KU alumni to learn about “All Things KU.”

“This facility is a place for KU’s contribution to the region to be more accessible. It is open to the public as well as students. Our hope is that interested visitors can learn about KU’s programs on all campuses, purchase tickets to athletic and cultural events and shop for official KU merchandise at our new and expanded bookstore.”

Under the theme “Here we grow again,” grand opening events include a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce on Aug. 9; KU Athletics Night featuring Women’s Basketball Coach Bonnie Henrickson on Aug. 11; and free picnic, “All Things KU” festival and bluegrass concert by the Midday Rambler’s on Aug. 12. For more information about the events, visit the Edwards Campus calendar.

"We chose the theme ‘Here we grow again’” for the dedication week because it describes the purpose of hosting our celebrations,” Clark said. “We want to invite the community to see firsthand how KU is again growing to serve our students and greater Kansas City in a more comprehensive way.”

The goal of the KU Edwards Campus is to serve the workforce, economic and community development needs of the area. The Edwards Campus does so by offering 28 graduate and degree-completion programs, at a growth rate of 170 percent since 1997. In its 12-year history, Edwards Campus has graduated nearly 4,000 students and contributed an estimated 0 million to the Johnson County economy. The Edwards Campus is part of The University of Kansas system. Classes are taught by KU faculty who are based on KU’s Lawrence campus.

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