Washburn administrative hall getting update

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Washburn University has begun an ambitious renovation project that will centralize the school’s various administrative services, making it easier for students to manage things such as financial aid and admissions, university officials said.

The $17 million project has begun at Margaret Mulvane Morgan Memorial Hall, with workers removing a tower and clock faces that have become landmarks on the university campus. Demolition is set to start next week at the hall’s northwest corner, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1cnRpRo ).

Morgan Hall survived a 1966 tornado that devastated Washburn’s campus and destroyed five major buildings. After that storm, the university constructed a three-story addition to Morgan and put up the four clock faces on the tower, which is coming down.

Offices inside the hall, including that of Washburn President Jerry Farley, will be temporarily moved to other areas until moving back into Morgan hall when the project is completed. It is scheduled to be finished next year in time for the university’s 150th anniversary, said Richard Liedtke, the Washburn official managing the renovation project

Donations and university reserves are to be used to finance the project on the building, which opened in 1955 and has long served as a place where all students visit to complete important paperwork.

Liedtke said the hall is an important part of Washburn’s efforts to make a good first impression as it competes for quality students.

“It’s extremely important we take that opportunity and make sure that we show them what the life of an Ichabod is at Washburn University,” he said.

The new Morgan Hall will allow various administrative services currently scattered throughout the building — including admissions, financial aid and the business office — to be merged into a “one-stop shop” which students will be able to visit in one stop, Liedtke said.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com

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