Kansas State University reaches significant step in multicultural center project
Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018
More than $2.7 million in private gifts will help Kansas State University plan for a multicultural center to the east of the K-State Student Union. | Download this photo.
MANHATTAN — Kansas State University has secured more than $2.7 million for the multicultural center project, a substantial step in advancing student success, diversity, inclusion and social justice.
"Last fall, during the inaugural KSUnite event, we prioritized the multicultural center project for the year ahead and tasked a universitywide team to turn ideas and thoughts into action," said President Richard Myers. "In less than a year, we've made tremendous progress. The multicultural center will be a place for students, faculty and staff to learn from each other as well as serve as a symbol of how K-Staters work hard together to accomplish great things."
The Multicultural Center Project Action Team, a 28-member team of student, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, KSU Foundation and community representatives, provided recommendations to the president's cabinet on the facility's use, location and design. The team proposes a 14,300-square-foot facility adjacent to the K-State Student Union.
"This center has been a dream for many generations of K-State students and supports our land-grant mission," said Pat Bosco, vice president for student life and dean of students. "We joined together with many students representing all kinds of voices and we have listened carefully. The center's central location will help fulfill the vision of a place where all people can unite for a better K-State."
The action team has been working with Albert Ray II, a 1993 Kansas State University graduate in architecture, planning and design and employee at Hollis + Miller Architects in Kansas City, for guidance. The KSU Foundation approved funding to contract with Hollis + Miller Architect for the preliminary design and specifications, which is expected by January 2019. The university will present the project for building approval to the Kansas Board of Regents in November.
"The Multicultural Center Project Action Team worked diligently throughout the summer to honor and build on the previous work for the center," said Adrian Rodriguez, associate vice president for student life. "They have developed a program statement that outlines the space and will continue to be involved in the planning process."
Makinsey McIntosh, a member of the Multicultural Center Project Action Team and multicultural affairs director for the Student Governing Association, said working on the center with other students and supporters has shown how important it is to the K-State community.
"As a team, we put in hours of brainstorming to not only fulfill the needs of our current multicultural students, but our future students as well for generations to come," said McIntosh, a senior in animal sciences and industry. "It is exciting to see this project move forward and to understand the progress we made this summer and over years of collaboration and persistence. I look forward to share what we have accomplished and more of our students' stories through this project."
The action team's recommendations include a welcome area; gathering, meeting and performance practice space; student and multicultural student organization group spaces; a kitchen; office space; and core support space, such as lactation room and student organization storage space.
"I'm proud of the work our group has done to move us forward toward realizing our multicultural center," said Spencer Wood, president of Faculty Senate and associate professor of sociology. "It is a vital component of our welcoming and inclusive vision and future of K-State as a transformative university for all of our students."
The university will start construction once a minimum fundraising threshold has been surpassed. The multicultural center project will be funded completely by private gifts.
"The fundraising thus far is a significant step in making the center a reality," said Greg Willems, KSU Foundation president and CEO. "The KSU Foundation will continue fundraising efforts once the project rendering is complete with space details and can be used to share an accurate description of the facility and its impact at K-State."
The university community and members of the public are invited to hear more about the project Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 9, at KSUnite activities in World War I Memorial Stadium. Events start at 1 p.m. with the Unity Walk from Bosco Plaza in front of the K-State Student Union to the stadium, followed by presentations by various speakers and an update on the multicultural center project.