Wichita State University is moving ahead with a plan designed to make it more attractive to future students. It's part of a long-term plan to increase enrollment. The plan begins with a new residence hall.
The plan calls for the new dorm to be built in the commuter parking lot south of Cessna Stadium.
The new $50 to $55 million residence hall would replace the aging Brennan Hall and Wheatshocker Apartments with a more modern style dorm. Each student would have a private room, share a bathroom with one other student and a living space with three others.
The chosen location would put the building closer to central campus than any other of Wichita State's current residence halls.
University leaders hope this will help make the school more attractive to future students. Those who already live on campus like the idea.
"That would be nice," said Charles Ndiaye, a WSU Sophomore. "'Cause, I mean, we're kind of far from the campus, so we don't really know what's going on over there."
Of course, building a new dorm where there's already a parking lot on a university that's mostly commuter students could be problematic. The university does have plans to include a parking garage, but that's a separate project which is still in the discussion stage.
The school expects the new facility to be ready for students to move in by fall semester 2014.
This is just the first phase of a long-term plan to increase enrollment at the university. Future additions could include more residence halls along with other improvements. The goal is to have 22-25,000 students attending Wichita State, with as many as a quarter of them living on campus.