TOPEKA (KSNT) – Washburn University has identified plans for campus building renovations, based on future needs.

“A space study, completed early last year, identified ways to improve our campus, modernize the student’s learning experience, enhance the working environment for faculty and staff and prepare Washburn for the future of higher education. Every dollar spent in this plan puts students first. Washburn and our community can wholeheartedly support and be proud of what this means for best serving our students,” said Dr. JuliAnn Mazachek, president, Washburn University.

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According to a Washburn University news release, “Construction of the new Washburn University School of Law, scheduled to open in the summer, is the catalyst for other building projects on campus. The current law school building will be renovated to house the Student Success Center, Washburn Libraries, leadership and honors programs as well as the department of education. Carnegie Hall, the oldest building on campus, will be repurposed once the education department moves to its new home.”

“The current law school building renovation allows us to transform Mabee Library into a modern healthcare education facility that will bring together our signature nursing and allied health programs, along with Washburn Tech’s healthcare programs including surgical technology and practical nursing.”

“Significant changes are also planned for Henderson Learning Resources Center, the largest and most utilized classroom building on campus, with major renovations and modernization of learning and gathering spaces for students and faculty.  Henderson is the primary home to the School of Business and many College of Arts and Sciences departments.”

“A new recital hall will connect to the northern edge of White Concert Hall to provide a smaller, more intimate artistic setting.  Upgrades are planned for Lee Arena, home to graduation celebrations and our basketball and volleyball programs. Nearby metal buildings that house Facilities Services will be removed to make way for more green space, including a pavilion and gathering space for students, alumni and community members. Facilities Services will move to the southeast corner of 21st and Washburn Ave., property that Washburn currently occupies.”

The plan includes removing several buildings to provide better accessibility and improve the overall learning and working environment. Enhancing the workspaces of Washburn faculty and staff will be a constant goal throughout the plan’s implementation. A new president’s residence will be built on the northwestern edge of campus thanks to a donor’s generous gift.

Funding for these projects will come from several sources including Washburn reserves, debt financing, university donors and State of Kansas grants. A timeline and comprehensive budget for this multi-year plan has yet to be finalized although Mazachek projects a seven-year window.

Washburn leadership will host several town hall meetings on campus to share ideas and receive additional input from students, faculty and staff. Support from alumni and local business leaders also will be vital to moving Washburn forward.

“Growth is our top priority at Washburn and research shows prospective students choose a particular university based on the look and feel of campus. It is more important than ever,” Mazachek said. “As the higher education landscape changes, Washburn’s landscape will change, too, and provide the best campus learning experience for all students.”

Founded in 1865, Washburn University is a public institution with more than 6,000 students involved in more than 200 academic programs. Washburn’s programs lead to certification, associate, bachelor, master’s degree or doctor of nursing practice and juris doctor degrees. The programs are offered through Washburn’s six primary academic units – College of Arts and Sciences, School of Applied Studies, School of Business, School of Nursing, School of Law and Washburn Institute of Technology.

Washburn is ranked the best public regional university in Kansas and the 14th best public regional university in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report 2022-2023.

Some photos were provided by Washburn University.