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  • KU Edwards BEST Building Breaking Ground Apr. 2010

KU Edwards BEST Building Breaking Ground Apr. 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

New Construction to House 10 Undergraduate, Graduate Programs

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The vision for Johnson County’s Education and Research Triangle (Triangle), backed by Johnson County voters in November 2008, draws closer to taking form on Wednesday, April 21, at 11 a.m., when University of Kansas officials will break ground on a new building at the University of Kansas Edwards Campus, 12600 Quivira Road, Overland Park.

The Business, Engineering, Science and Technology (BEST) Building, a 75,000-square-foot, $25 million facility, will expand the undergraduate and graduate opportunities available to students in these four disciplines. It will also further position the KU Edwards Campus as a driving force in the region’s economic growth and community development.

“The addition of the BEST Building to the Edwards Campus will reinforce Johnson County’s image as a center for innovation and knowledge-based workers,” said Bob Clark, vice chancellor of KU Edwards Campus. “The ten programs to be housed in the new building will spawn long-term, high-value economic development.”

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, who will speak at the groundbreaking, has made KU’s research and scholarly work one of her top priorities. “The BEST Building, and the programs it will support,” said Gray-Little, “will produce the professionally trained Kansans who will keep our state and its economy strong for years to come.”

Dick Bond, chair of the Edwards Campus Board of Advisors, compelled by his understanding that prosperity derives from quality education, had the vision for the Triangle initiative.

“The BEST Building represents a critical point on the Education and Research Triangle and brings Johnson County one step closer to hosting a nationally respected, world-class research university campus,” Bond said.

The BEST Building exemplifies fresh thinking from the architects at Gould Evans. Edwards Campus faculty members, students, alumni and staff collaborated with the architects to guide the design of a facility that will be flexible, functional and sensitive to the needs of the student population, mostly working professionals.

Classrooms were designed specifically for the academic programs planned for the BEST Building. Some provide configuration to facilitate team exercises and active classroom discussion. A technology-friendly environment will allow for easy use of laptops and wireless connections. In addition, the new building will include computer labs, faculty offices and a business conference center.

Construction is scheduled to be complete by November 2011. The first semester in the BEST Building will be spring 2012.

Renderings of the BEST Building are available at this link: http://trozzolo.com/kubest/