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KU Central District – Mike Berry

View the web cam to see the project's progress: https://app.oxblue.com/open/clarkconstruction/kucddp

The University of Kansas campus will soon Rock Chalk more than ever with a completely upgraded Central District. A 350-million-dollar project that will take the KU campus to a whole new level – with a brand new approach to serving a growing student population.

Central District improvements will shift KU into the future with better, more convenient amenities while conserving the university’s culture.

Engineers from PEC’s municipal, municipal transportation, electrical, structural, survey and mechanical divisions have designed major portions of the massive project.

“This is the biggest project I’ve ever worked on with PEC,” said Mike Berry, retired PEC Principal, “and I’ve been here for thirty-five years.”

Covering fifty-five acres in the middle of campus, PEC is responsible for everything to do with the site – re-grading, new streets, parking lots, water system, waste water lines, drainage system and storm water detention. PEC also designed street and pedestrian lighting, power distribution and telecommunication.

The KU Campus will have a new 280,000 square foot science building containing laboratories, classrooms, offices and meeting space that will supplement the current science buildings – Mallott and Haworth Halls.

A new 500-bed residence hall addition serving primarily freshman students and a 700-bed student apartment complex for upper-class undergraduate and graduate students are also under construction.

A parking garage, an artificial turf student recreation sports athletic field and a satellite student union will be added to expand the university’s capability to host events.

“The University of Kansas has been a great client of ours for fifteen years and this is the biggest plan they’ve ever had the opportunity to execute,” said Berry, “so working with their team to make this a reality and seeing everything come together has been rewarding.”

A design-build process was used rather than the traditional delivery. This means the design team is integrated into the construction team – both teams work together to get the project delivered at an accelerated schedule. An even more unique aspect is that this project is a public-private partnership between the City of Lawrence and the University of Kansas.

Construction of the project began in January of 2016 and is expected to be finished by July of 2018. That leaves only two and a half years to carry out this major redevelopment. Such little time means the designs and renderings have to be spot on. There is no room for error.

This high profile redevelopment has required contributions from all four PEC Kansas locations – Topeka, Lawrence, Pittsburg and Wichita – and will result in a new approach to education with accessible and innovative student amenities at the University of Kansas.