TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Washburn University is planning a new $30 million residence hall and dining area as it adds to a list of capital projects envisioned for its Topeka campus.
The proposed hall will be on the east side of campus, offering 350 beds in apartment-like settings and a dining area for about 300 people. It is expected to be ready for the 2016-17 academic year, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1zwq6LC ).
About 9 percent of Washburn’s undergraduate and graduate students live on campus, and university officials want to increase that number.
“We know there are still a number of students who want a traditional place,” to live during college, Washburn University President Jerry Farley said.
Washburn administrators expect to fund the residence hall project with about $27 million in bonds, $1 million in private and university contributions and $2.25 million from a private food-service contractor. Room and board will help pay back the bonds.
Although enrollment dropped by 196 students this year, the school has had a waiting list of students wanting to live on campus for four to five years, said Rick Anderson, Washburn’s vice president of administration.
Farley said retention has been a problem, so officials are working hard to help students before they drop out.
The residence hall is the latest of many projects Washburn hopes to build in the next several years. Others in the master plan unveiled last year include a new law school, recital hall, welcome center and indoor sports facility.
A new $55 million Kansas Bureau of Investigation lab, which will be used by the university, is expected to be completed next year.
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