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Kansas State planning new residence hall

Published on -5/14/2012, 6:54 AM

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas State University expects to open its first new on-campus residence hall since the early 1960s within two to three years.

The project is now in the planning stages, with construction likely to begin sometime next spring, university president Kirk Schulz told The Manhattan Mercury (http://bit.ly/vgMsIO ).

Over the past decade, the university has focused its housing efforts on the substantial renovation of the off-campus Jardine Complex. It has not built an on-campus residence hall since opening a four-unit complex about 50 years ago, when enrollment was roughly 12,000. Now, it is about twice that.

"I doubt there's another major university in the country that hasn't opened a dorm in the last half-century," Schulz said.

Students will likely pay higher fees to live in the new dorm than in existing residence halls, but in return they'll be offered amenities that are expected to include suites with private or semi-private restrooms and study areas, Schulz said.

The project is to be financed through bonds and fees, not with state taxes.

Schulz also told The Mercury he would like to see Kansas State grow at a "sustained, moderate" rate of about 100 students a year. Much of its growth has resulted from enrollment of international students; the university currently enrolls about 1,000 undergraduate and 1,000 graduate students from abroad.

While there are more than 100 nations represented within the student body, most of the international students are from China. Schulz said he would like to see the university "diversify the mix of countries on our campus."

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