Campus Master Plan
Established in 1866, the University of Kansas recently completed a comprehensive master plan for its Lawrence and Edwards campuses to align the physical campus with the goals of KU’s strategic plan. Hanbury led the master planning process, which resulted in redefining the Lawrence campus as “One” campus, comprised of well-connected, multi-use districts designed to stimulate trans-disciplinary innovation.
With its rich tapestry of natural beauty, history, and tradition, its planning legacy has capitalized on its extraordinary ridge-top location.The 2014-2024 Campus Master Plan honors this context while preparing KU for the future by strategically siting new and expanded academic, research, and housing facilities.
The Plan strengthens the historic core by redesigning its centerpiece, Jayhawk Boulevard, into a pedestrian- and bicycle-oriented corridor. In addition, it strengthens the University’s physical relationship with its host community by enhancing campus gateways and connections to outreach programs.
Two previously disparate campuses, Main and West, will be knitted together into one campus with three districts: North, Central, and West. The underutilized Central District is poised to become a vibrant mixed-use environment featuring trans-disciplinary academic and research buildings, student life facilities, and new residential communities. With the Master Plan defining the path forward, the largest public/private partnership in Kansas history has been formed to build the new Central District.
"Innovation Way," an accessible pedestrian path system and District connector, unites Engineering and Natural, Physical and Life Sciences in the North District to the newly re-envisioned Central District. It also bridges to a new Research Partnership Zone in the West District. Accelerated engagement with industry has already increased support for research and development. The plan provides a vision for a modern, sustainable, "living lab" campus environment that promotes interdisciplinary collaboration and engaged, innovative scholarship.
The University of Kansas seeks to become a top tier public international research university. Many of the goals defined in the strategic plan influenced the Space Use Analysis and Space Needs Analysis. These included: Goal 1: Energizing the Educational Environment to affect learning pedagogy and class size; thus the need for more and larger active learning teaching spaces. Goal 2: Elevating Doctoral Education and Goal 3: Driving Discovery & Innovation increases the need for research funding and collaborative research space. Goal 6: Developing Infrastructure & Resources affects the technical specifications and quality of space.
New science classrooms and class labs, as well as research space, emerged as the top priority. Close to 60 percent of space needs are in research. These spaces will strengthen STEM disciplines and promote interdisciplinary collaboration to achieve strategic goals.
An anticipated enrollment growth of 12 percent for undergraduates and 22 percent for graduate students over the next 10 years increases the need for student life and support space throughout campus. The master plan framework supports approximately 800,000 Gross Square Feet (GSF) in building renovation to maximize existing built resources, and approximately 1 million GSF in new construction.
“[Our campus master plan] is the physical embodiment of our aspirations as the state’s flagship university... It sets forth an ideal for a modern research university that can advance our mission of educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that will change the world.”
– Bernadette Gray-Little, Former Chancellor, University of Kansas