Four major construction projects at Wichita State will begin in 2017, and three others are in progress and due to be completed this year.
“This is moving faster than we envisioned when we announced the Innovation Campus in August 2014,” said WSU President John Bardo.
Bardo said the major factors in rapid growth include commitments from the business community and government at all levels.
John Tomblin, WSU vice president of research and technology transfer, recently gave an update to university staff members.
Contractors are expected to begin work this summer on four major projects:
•A 45,000-square-foot partnership building to house tenants whose needs include working with WSU students and / or faculty. It will be located just west of Airbus and north of the new Experiential Engineering Building.
•An Element by Westin Hotel with about 90 rooms is expected to break ground in late summer and be open by fall 2018 near 19th Street and Oliver. There is land near the Element for a second hotel and two drive-through restaurants.
•Construction will begin this summer on two multi-tenant buildings in Braeburn Square along 21st Street, east of the new Starbucks. The pond on the old golf course will be enlarged and landscaped. Developers are in discussions with potential tenants to occupy about 20,000 square feet, with the first openings expected in spring or summer 2018.
•18th Street, connecting Oliver to Innovation Boulevard, will begin construction, with completion by the end of the year. Additional pond improvements and sidewalks will also be started this summer.
Three Innovation Campus projects will be completed this year:
•The Law Enforcement Training Center will provide a home for the Wichita Police Department and Sedgwick County Sheriff’s training, as well as the WSU Criminal Justice program classrooms and faculty offices. It is at the corner of 19th Street and Innovation Blvd.
•The Flats at WSU, a 285-resident apartment complex south of Eck Stadium, will open in August. The pricing structure has been reduced to the same level as Shocker Hall and now includes all utilities, including electricity, and free parking.
•The original Pizza Hut is being moved from its current location to just south of the Marcus Welcome Center on the Innovation Campus and will be reopened in 2018 as a museum, staffed by WSU history students. It will tell the story of a global company founded by two entrepreneurial WSU students. It will house memorabilia from Pizza Hut’s early days.