Regents OK $3.4M expansion to Marcus Welcome Center 



Wichita State’s Office of Admissions is housed in the Marcus Welcome Center. The WSU Foundation will hold a news conference behind the center announcing major gift Monday, Aug. 31.

The Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday approved Wichita State University’s request to build an addition on the south side of the Marcus Welcome Center.

The 8,000 square-foot addition, which is expected to take more than two years to complete, will house the Career Development Center and the Office of Applied and Experiential Learning — bringing the two offices under the same roof as the Office of Admissions.

“This will consolidate several of the student support offices [and] will enhance their functionality,” Regent Mark Hutton said.

The Marcus Welcome Center is on the northeast corner of WSU’s main campus near Braeburn Square. As the university’s “front door,” the building is often the first stop for orientation and campus tours.

Housing the three offices in the same building “will allow prospective students and their families to get a comprehensive view on how Wichita State University will engage with students starting from their first year at WSU,” reads the university’s proposal to KBOR. 

The proposal also states the new career hub, called the “Shocker Career Accelerator,” will help students find internships on Innovation Campus, applied learning opportunities with Wichita employers, and ultimately a career after college. 

As part of the project, the university will also renovate about 5,000 square feet of existing space in the Marcus Welcome Center, including the lobby, auditorium and corridor. Those renovations will occur in phases to keep the building operational during construction.

The project is estimated to cost about $3.4 million and it will be funded with private donations. The university will cover the cost of future maintenance and operations. 

The Marcus Welcome Center, which opened in 2005, is more than 29,000 square feet and features a clock tower. The three-level building was designed by McCluggage, VanSickle and Perry, a Wichita architecture firm.