Morgan construction scheduled for completion in time for WU birthday

The dream of giving a new face to the Washburn University campus first came to life in 2009 when Washburn President Jerry Farley shared the idea with Richard Liedtke, executive director of enrollment management.  

It was just an idea then, but by 2010 ,it formulated into a plan. Farley, Liedtke and other executive staff went through “practice simulations” to predict how such a large project would play out. Between that and much more discussion, the project was finally given a go.

The first step in this endeavor is the renovation of Morgan Hall and the creation of a Welcome Center. In January of 2014, McPherson Contractors, Inc. broke ground on what will be nearly a year and a half project.  Previously, many of the service offices had been spread throughout Morgan Hall, or even in other buildings.  

Shelbie Konkel, WSGA president, says that students find some elements of the construction to be an inconvenience, such as some of the third floor of Morgan being shut down and some offices moved completely out of the building. 

“I want to urge the students to remember the construction can sometimes be an inconvenience, but the new spaces will reflect the pride that we have in our institution,” said Konkel. “The renovation of Morgan Hall will be a new space for Washburn to welcome new Ichabods and serve new Ichabods.”

Liedtke says that he is aware of the inconveniences that the construction causes, namely the issues Konkel listed. After the construction is complete, though there will be a centralization of all the student services, or in short, a “one-stop-shop.”  

Most offices students come to, such as the Admissions Office, Financial Aid, the Business Office, University Services, Career Services and Counseling Services will all be in one centralized location, as opposed to spread about in different levels of Morgan Hall as they have been before construction started.

Both Liedtke and Konkel were adamant that “not a penny” of students’ money, whether it be tuition or any other fees, is being used to fund the renovation. It is a $17 million project, which, according to Rick Anderson, vice president for administration, is funded by private donors who have donated $12 million, and $5 million from university reserves.

The construction is set to be complete by the summer of 2015. The official ribbon cutting for the new and improved Morgan Hall will be in the fall of 2015, coinciding with the sesquicentennial anniversary of Washburn’s founding.  

“With this Welcome Center you will know you’ve arrived at Washburn,” said Liedtke.  

The quotation “non nobis solum” will be engraved at the entrance, which means “not for us, but for everyone.”