Shocker Hall set to complete in early August

Many Wichita State students are feeling frustrated about the ongoing construction around campus as they fight for parking spots and maneuver around orange cones and other obstacles.

“Construction on campus has only made parking even more tedious than it already was,” Wichita State senior Robinson Enz said. 

Randy Pulec, director of Facilities Maintenance with the Physical Plant, said he sympathizes with students like Enz, but maintains that as the new semester moves forward, the construction projects that are transforming the look and atmosphere of the campus are nearing completion.

The old utility lines that run from Morrison Hall south to Duerksen Hall were replaced in October and the next phase of that project, a new pedestrian corridor, is underway.

“It will be from Perimeter Road up by the new dorms and it will go south just past the entrance to Duerksen on the east side,” Pulec said.

The two-phase Rhatigan Student Center renovation was halfway finished in August after crews demolished and rebuilt the north side of the building. Work on the south side is on schedule, with the overall goal being a larger building with new infrastructure.

Megan Lamb, RSC senior administrative assistant, said students can buy their books on the second floor of the RSC and can soon buy Starbucks coffee from the Fast Break snack bar.

Steve Larson, director of Student Life, said the new, five-story dorm complex, Shocker Hall, is on schedule for an Aug. 6 completion.

“A lot of the framing and masonry work is right on schedule and if you drive by, you can see that they’re already putting the roofs on most of the buildings,” he said.

Larson said a 400-seat dining hall and coffee shop are in the plans for Shocker Hall.

Although Enz said he was frustrated with the construction, he also emphasized with the benefits.

“The silver lining to all of this is that the administration has brought in the shuttle buses to ferry students from the WSU building at 29th and Oliver to various stopping points on campus,” Enz said. “I love the shuttle system.”

Overall, Enz is proud of the progress.

“I am happy to say that I love the idea of more dorm rooms and the new student center is an absolute joy between my classes,” Enz said. “I am glad to see WSU growing, and nothing is a greater sign of growing than building and expanding.”