Big changes are in store for the future of Wichita State University's campus. The university hopes to create a new innovation campus as it tries to become more of a major economic player in south central Kansas.
Part of those changes will require the elimination of some familiar landmarks around campus. Wheatshockers Apartments will be torn down to make way for a new building. Also the golf course will go away in some capacity. More details on the future of the golf course will be addressed later.
These changes will make room for what the university hopes is a new innovative campus.
Wichita State University President, John Bardo created a rendering of what he would like the campus to look like in the next few decades.
In that rendering there are several generic titles on many of the buildings, meaning there are only a few pieces of this master plan are in place.
The first piece is the Experiential Engineering Building. It will replace Wheat Shocker Apartments.
"We feel at Wichita State that we can and should play a major role in making sure that our families, the people that are here, have good jobs for the future," said Bardo.
That means diversifying the economic base of south central Kansas. Bardo believes the aviation industry, the economic backbone of the community will change and says the area needs more innovation.
"We're creating a university here that is focused on high quality innovation," said Bardo.
To do that private businesses will need to buy into his vision and decide to build buildings and invest in the campus and the students.
It's about thinking differently about what the community can be and how that community change and movement can draw more people to Wichita.
"We're going to continue trying to build out with the community to make sure that we can help drive the future for Wichita and south central Kansas," said Bardo.
The idea is to give businesses, students and community members a place to innovate and create.
Right now, WSU President John Bardo says he has one private business that is very close to making the jump to move company operations here to campus.
There's no time frame or complete price tag on all of this at this point due in part to this puzzle being far from done.