- Associated Press - Sunday, May 28, 2017

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Construction is humming along on Wichita State University’s new Innovation campus, with four major projects set to begin this summer and three others scheduled to be completed this year, university officials said.

“This is moving faster than we envisioned when we announced the Innovation Campus in August 2014,” university president John Bardo said in a news release Wednesday.

Contractors are expected to begin work this summer on these four projects:

- A 45,000-square-foot partnership building, which would house companies that would work with Wichita State students or faculty. It will be located just west of Airbus and north of the new Experiential Engineering Building, with easy access to the nearby National Institute for Aviation Research.

- An Element by Westin Hotel is expected to break ground in late summer and open in fall 2018. The hotel is the first major project in a mixed-use, 30-acre development called Braeburn Square, which will include restaurants and shops, The Wichita Eagle reported (https://bit.ly/2qSYOmH ).

- Two multi-tenant buildings in Braeburn Square. Developers are “in discussions with potential tenants” to occupy about 20,000 square feet, but those won’t be named until agreements are signed.

- A section of 18th Street is expected to be completed. Additional pond improvements and sidewalks also will begin this summer.

Three other projects are scheduled to be completed this year, including a new Law Enforcement Training Center. It will house Wichita Police Department and Sedgwick County sheriff’s training programs, along with the university’s criminal justice program classrooms and faculty offices.

The other two projects scheduled to be done by the end of the year include The Flats, a 285-resident apartment complex; and a Pizza Hut museum, housed in the original Pizza Hut, which moved to from its first site to Wichita State in 1986. The museum will be staffed by Wichita State history students.

Wichita State officials said they are in advanced discussions with the Greater Wichita YMCA to build a new YMCA and wellness center on the Innovation Campus but it hasn’t been officially approved. Some university students are gathering petition signatures opposing a proposed fee hike that would pay for it.

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, https://www.kansas.com


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