Price tag on new business building raised to $60 million


Courtesy of Wichita State

The Innovation Campus business building, Woolsey Hall, now has a $60 million price tag. Up from $50 million.

Wichita State’s new business school building, set to be completed in 2022, is now expected to cost $60 million.

An amendment was approved to raise the price tag from $50 million to $60 million at this week’s Kansas Board of Regents meeting.

According to KBOR’s meeting agenda, during the “program validation phase,” it was decided that the cost per square foot was below “what is needed for buildings of this type.”

The university raised $35 million in private funds for the building. After a failed referendum in March to raise student fees to pay for the rest of the building, the university decided to reallocate existing university funds to cover the rest of the costs of an annual bond payment.

Under the original reallocation, a combined $975,000 would come from WSU’s six academic colleges annually to cover the bulk of the bond payment. The university now must come up with an additional $5 million in university resources.

Earlier this year, The Sunflower requested the contract between Wichita State and GastingerWalker and Gensler, the architectural firm designing the building, but the general counsel’s office said the contract wasn’t signed yet.

Provost Rick Muma and Business School Dean Larisa Genin have traveled around the country to visit other business schools this year. The Sunflower requested receipts and other financial documents related to these visits but had yet to receive all records back. Based on available documents, these visits have cost at least $2,000.

Genin said these tours were important to learn from other business schools did for their buildings.

“Quite frankly it would be irresponsible not to engage in looking at these business school buildings because by now I, along with others, we have a pretty good overview of what the landscape of business school buildings and construction looks like and a lot of takeaways and a lot of valuable information that emerged.”

Genin said from these tours, it was clear that the price tag would be higher than anticipated.