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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Regents give approval to proposed apartments near Allen Fieldhouse

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— The proposed $17.5 million apartment building for Kansas University basketball players was endorsed Wednesday by the Kansas Board of Regents.

The measure passed 8-1 with only Kenny Wilk of Basehor opposed.

"I understand the need. I just can't quite get over the sticker shock," Wilk said.

Even several board members who voted for the proposal said the price tag was astronomical.

The project for south of Allen Fieldhouse would include 66 furnished apartments. Regent Shane Bangerter of Dodge City said that pencils out to approximately $265,000 per apartment.

"They could be living in a really nice house in Lawrence for that kind of money," Bangerter said.

Regent Ann Murguia of Kansas City, Kan., said a luxury apartment building recently opened up in her area for half the square footage cost.

But Regent Ed McKechnie of Arcadia said KU is "recruiting for a world class program." He said basketball recruits visiting schools in California see a view of the Pacific Ocean.

Theresa Gordzica, chief business and financial planning officer, said the price may seem high, but it also includes a commons area, a kitchen, parking lot and a half-court basketball court.

She said of the total, about $9 million to $10 million will be raised through private funds. The rest will be made up with bond proceeds paid off by rental income from the building.

Of the 66 apartments, 32 would be for student-athletes and 34 for students who are not athletes.

KU will need authorization from the Legislature for the bonds. Murguia said given the conservative politics dominating the Legislature that may difficult.

Comments

Jack Brooks 9 months, 1 week ago

I'm really confused about this project. It's seems awfully small. It's going to allow 34/66 students to be non-athletes. I'm guessing that's to have enough to house the basketball team, a couple other athletes and foist the cost on the "non athlete" students through rent?

What housing plans do we have for the other sports (especially football)?

Aaron Paisley 9 months, 1 week ago

34 non athletes so it's not an NBA violation. Player housing has to a 51/49 student to athlete ratio to not be in violation of the impermissible benefits rules.

Brett McCabe 9 months, 1 week ago

I believe that the non-athletes will have the choice whether to pay the rent or not. I'm guessing, that the units will be sold-out in less than an hour.

Jonny Swift 9 months, 1 week ago

It will probably be the hottest and most in demand on campus housing in Lawrence. Who wouldn't want to live in the luxury building with all the athletes?

Jonny Swift 9 months, 1 week ago

Keep in mind that this is 66 apartments total - not 66 students. Probably 2 people per apartment. So the KU bball team would probably only take up 10 apartments with a 20 person team.

Brett McCabe 9 months, 1 week ago

Cheers to Ed McKechnie....here is a guy who actually gets it. The basketball program does more for the University of Kansas than any other department on campus and, as a general rule, should get what it wants (much like the Honey Badger).

Though no organization should go un-checked, KU basketball has earned a good degree of latitude.

As for housing for the other sports, it will come. Dr. Z wants a Stanford-like athletic department but he also understands setting priorities. Right now, he's making Lew Perkins' regime look like a bunch of amateurs when it comes to raising money and creating facilities.

Michael Pannacciulli 9 months, 1 week ago

We need two of those buildings stat.or one very tall building. The pricetag is not that alarming. In my part of the country that sounds like a steal. Great investment for the future of our program and University. KU should buy the Oread and turn it into dorms also.

Suzi Marshall 9 months, 1 week ago

I'm a big fan of the project.

This is a player’s complex and our great players should be recognized. I nominate the complex to be named "Danny Manning Hall." Danny is everything we should aspire for our players. He attended four years and graduated. He played in two final fours with a NC. His on court accomplishments are known to all KU fans.

The women’s team will share the complex and there will be two wings. The wing the women’s team is to be housed in should be named “The Lynette Woodard Wing.” The Men’s Team wing should be named “The Wilt Chamberlain Wing.” Woodard and Chamberlain’s exploits need to explanation to this group.

The Library/Study Hall should be named for a player that excelled in academics, such as “The Ken Koenig Library.” Ken graduated with a 4.0 and was twice an Academic All American. On the court, he was All Big 8 and drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers and was offered a contract. Instead of the NBA, he chose to attend KU Med School before moving on to Yale for his internship. Koenigs is now a noted doctor living in MA and has hosted team dinners when we play in the area.

Aaron Paisley 9 months, 1 week ago

Manning hall or Chamberlain Hall. This would be the place to put statues of former players.

Brett McCabe 9 months, 1 week ago

Suzi and Aaron are on it. Perfect place for player statues. Talk about impressing recruits: Son, would you like one of those for yourself one day?

Add a statue of Lynnette, Tamecka and Angel while we are at it.

Cody Stumma 9 months, 1 week ago

This project is terrible. I'm disappointed we're trying to act like Kentucky.

Brett McCabe 9 months, 1 week ago

And Joe goes plastic-soul on us! Gotta say it, I still like that song!

Rodney Crain 9 months, 1 week ago

Cody ever disappointed when we lose a recruit? Call it a necessary evil if you want, but this is needed like a great weight room, or a nice practice facility.

Trace Stark 9 months, 1 week ago

Wilk needs to be replaced, immediately!

Erich Hartmann 9 months, 1 week ago

This building is a DIRECT response to the student "residence" (posh apts with pvt. chef) that Kentucky built. And kudos to KU for coming up with something to compete. It is VERY likely that Self (always the competitor) was behind the request for the apt bldg. To get an idea of the competition, see the YouTube video of Coach Calipari giving the viewer a personally guided walk-thru tour and explanation of each floor and room. Some funny moments as only Cal can give, as he visits the chef, and some "studious" looking Kentucky basketball players. You realize the schmooz and mktg is full-on with a residence hall like that...Im sure that got Self planning his/our counter move.

And by NCAA rule, building such a bldg cannot be for student-athletes alone, as that is too obvious a recruiting ploy...hence the 50% non-athletes.

Erich Hartmann 9 months, 1 week ago

And by building our own enticing bldg, we just lessened the value of Kentucky's one-of-a-kind residence hall...

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