Transforming the landscape

In 2014, the University of Kansas launched a campus master plan to put our aspirations as a flagship research university into physical form. Key to that plan was the development of our Central District into a new hub of education and research that would address urgent needs and position us for excellence for decades to come.

Today, the blueprints and renderings have morphed to concrete and steel. Construction crews have made tremendous progress throughout the Central District, which includes six key components: the Integrated Science Building, a residence hall and dining facility, apartment-style student housing, a student union, a parking garage, and a central utility plant.

Below is additional detail and the anticipated completion date for each of the six components.

Integrated Science Building

The Integrated Science Building will comprise 280,000 square feet of space for teaching, learning and interdisciplinary research in chemistry, medicinal chemistry, physics, molecular biosciences and related fields. For our students, this means new classrooms, new ways of interacting with instructors and classmates, and close integration of their undergraduate studies with cutting-edge research activity. For our researchers, it means a state-of-the-art facility designed to spawn multidisciplinary research and be an anchoring point for collaboration among KU’s research centers and campuses.

More broadly, the Integrated Science Building will benefit our entire university by helping us recruit new scholars, pursue new funding opportunities, foster technology-based startups and enhance the visibility of KU nationally.

The building is scheduled to open in July 2018.

Cora Downs Residence Hall and South Dining Commons

Cora Downs Hall, a 545-bed residence hall and dining facility will offer suite-style living for new and returning students. It will be located near the intersection of Naismith Drive and 19th Street, next to the existing Oliver Hall.

This new facility addresses urgent housing needs for the university, which has now four straight years of overall enrollment growth.

The residence hall and South Dining Commons opened in fall 2017.

Stouffer Place Apartments

This 708-bed apartment-style housing complex will feature a north and a south building and a terrific location along 19th Street approaching Iowa Street. The units will be designed to have two bedrooms and two bathrooms, or four bedrooms and four bathrooms. The name of the complex recognizes the old Stouffer Place apartments, which were torn down as part of the Central District renovations. 

This new facility addresses urgent housing needs for the university, which has now seen four straight years of overall enrollment growth.

These buildings are scheduled to open in July 2018.

Frank R. Burge Student Union

A new student union will replace the Burge Union and contain 33,000 square feet of space to support the needs of students, faculty and staff with student service offices and study space. It will take the historic name.of the old Burge Union, which was torn down as part of the renovations.

The union will include new conference space to expand KU's ability to host conferences and events. In addition to the event space, the facility will be the new home to Legal Services for Students, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center, the Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity, a reflection space, a lactation room and a coffee shop/convenience store to provide sustenance and sundries to the KU community.

This facility is scheduled to open in the summer of 2018.

Parking garage

A new parking garage will support additional parking demand in the Central District. The new garage is scheduled to open in 2017.

Central utility plant

A new central utility plant will provide support for these new facilities and other areas of campus. This project is scheduled to be completed in summer 2018.


From the Chancellor

"I’ve spoken often about our mission and our aspirations to be recognized among the nation’s top public research universities. The Central District gives us the resources to continue that mission and achieve those aspirations like never before."

Douglas A. Girod

Construction timeline

Completion dates for each of the Central District's six key components are as follows:

Spring 2017 - Parking garage
Summer 2017 - Downs Residence Hall, South Dining Commons
Summer 2018 - Burge Union
July 2018 - Integrated Science Building
July 2018 - Stouffer Place Apartments
Summer 2018 - Central utility plant

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
KU Today