The Wichita campus for KU's School of Medicine, has been in its building near 9th and I-135 since the 1980's. The building itself is even older, however this will not be the school's home for much longer.

Thursday the Kansas Board of Regents voted to give a proposed joint health science education center with KU and WSU the green light to go forward.

 KU's Chancellor Douglas Girod says "This, for us, is a game changer I think for the medical center in Wichita."

The project is expected to cost more than $300 million, and would house all of the KU school of medicine's Wichita campus, WSU's college of health professions and WSU Tech's health professional’s programs.

WSU's president Richard Muma says at full capacity, the campus will have 3,000 students and a couple hundred faculty. The two schools are looking to put the health science center in downtown Wichita.

"WSU center for economic development business research performed a analysis, the preliminary analysis last spring, this projects is likely to support nearly 1,600 jobs, and $279 million worth of economic activity," Muma told the board of Regents. 

It’s a project Sedgwick County Commission Chairman David Dennis says the county has been watching closely, telling KAKE “this is transformational."

The Commission plans to co-locate the new Comcare Crisis Center building on the new health science campus to better help recruit and retain talent. Dennis says "one thing we found is that people that train here, we usually are able to keep them in this location."

He adds that a project of this type and scale can be something that puts Sedgwick County ahead of so many others in the region. "The largest cities in the United States all have a health science center, located somewhere within their boundaries. We need to do the exact same thing that those other large cities are doing so that we can continue to grow."

The regents’ vote allows the two schools to go ahead with planning, site selection, design and fund raising for the health science center. If all goes smoothly, the project is expected to be completed in 2026.