Joint WSU-KU biomedical campus could receive nearly $150 million in funding
It's a project that leaders in Sedgwick County think would change the future of Wichita for the better.
Sedgwick County commissioner Pete Meitzner says “It will further expand what we’ve done with the DO school, with Niche, It’s going to create a downtown environment that lasts generations."
Dr. Garold Minns, dean of the Wichita campus for the KU School of Medicine says “It’s going to get very different healthcare workers in different fields in the same building."
They’re all talking about the proposed Wichita State and KU biomedical campus. The project would house KU’s School of Medicine and School of Pharmacy with all of WSU and WSU Tech's health programs at a single site in downtown Wichita.
WSU President Dr. Richard Muma says the campus will be “one of the most transformational buildings in this city. It will change health care for the future in this city.”
The project has an estimated cost of $300 million, a big price tag but one that the Kansas state legislature is planning to help with.
It has set aside 142 million dollars in federal COVID funds from the American Rescue plan that haven't been spent yet and put it in this year’s budget to help cover it.
The budget is still pending approval from the Governor.
Minns says “If we didn't have the state support of a substantial amount as they’ve allocated, it would be a non-starter."
The project is in the early design stages but Muma says having this support from the legislature helps keep the momentum going. He says it has already allocated $35 million last year to hire the design and architecture team and he thinks there could be more from the legislature allocated beyond the ARPA money this session.
He says they need $225 million to fully get the project underway.
Once the project picks a site downtown, Muma says it should break ground in early 2024 and be completed by 2026.