Wichita State Reveals Sizeable Expansion Into Old Town
Wichita State University has revealed more information about its expansion into Wichita’s Old Town neighborhood. The new venture will have an official title of “WSU Old Town” and will include the relocation of several different departments. School officials say the move will create a strong presence in the city’s most popular downtown destination.
"[Old Town] is a vibrant, growing area. We want to be a part of that vibrancy. It’s part of that overall blending of what we’re doing here for the region, to be the economic driver that we are trying to be." - Tony Vizzini, Provost and Senior Vice President of Wichita State University
The expansion is possible as Airbus Americas is relocating its Old Town offices to Wichita State's Innovation Campus. The company will move 400 employees and vacate thousands of square feet in Old Town.
Three buildings along Mead Street (121 N, 213 N and 238 N) will eventually house Wichita State departments. These will include:
- KMUW Wichita Public Radio
- Center for Economic Development and Business Research,
- Physician Assistant and Physical Therapy graduate degree programs,
- Center for Community Support and Research,
- Center for Management Development.
- Center for Combating Human Trafficking,
- College of Health Professions' Training and Technology Team
"I see partnerships throughout Old Town. KMUW is an event organization. It's a news organization. We provide so many different things that I think the potential is just explosive." - Debra Fraser, General Manager of KMUW
The move for KMUW will be more immediate than others. The university has claimed a second floor office at 121 N Mead, which also houses the Wichita Business Journal. Wichita State hopes to have the space ready sometime this summer.
The other departments will wait until Airbus Americas finishes its planned facility on Innovation Campus, which is expected to be completed by January of 2017.
"Many wonderful things have happened since we first opened our doors in 1895. But it seems like a lot of things are coming together at once. This is our time at WSU." - Lou Heldman, Vice President for Strategic Communications at Wichita State University