Rhatigan Renewal: one-year progress report

Construction, private fundraising continues on schedule for Rhatigan Student Center

Rhatigan Renewal one year after groundbreaking

Aerial view of the north side of the Rhatigan Student Center taken from the live construction cam found online via the Rhatigan Renewal Project site: http://webs.wichita.edu/?u=rsc_renewal&p=/Live_Cam1/.

Nearly one year after ground was broken to begin the renovation and expansion of the Rhatigan Student Center, the project is mostly on schedule, with completion still scheduled for August 2014.

   This month, workers are putting the finishing touches on the north half of the building and preparing to move services and contents out of the south half so that renovation can begin there, says Shelly Coleman-Martins, RSC director of marketing. Everything that was on the south half for the past year will be moved to the north half. That includes the book store, although that move won’t happen until mid-September, after the back-to-school rush is over.

Rhatigan Student Center rendering facing the main entrance on the east.

A rendering of the renovated and expanded Rhatigan Student Center's main entrance facing east.

   “Originally, we hadn’t planned to move the book store during construction, but it became apparent that some of the work being done there will require it after all,” Coleman-Martins says. Beginning next fall, visitors will find textbooks on the second floor and merchandise and other items on the first floor in the new part of the building. The book store will return to its original home once the project is completed.

   At this point, the RSC project is just three days behind schedule. Public tours are given regularly so that people can see how different the building will be, including an open, airy interior with a massive, decorative skylight; new color scheme featuring earth tones such as gold, brown and green; modern floor tiling and carpet; new glass entrances; and much more space.

RSC

This rendering of the renovated and expanded Rhatigan Student Center shows the southeast corner of the building.

   “When I checked in the other day, the progress was coming along nicely,” says James Rhatigan, consultant to the WSU Foundation and WSU Alumni Association. “In a year or so, we’ll have a phenomenal and basically new facility. It will be the largest and most heavily used building on our campus.”

   Rhatigan, for whom the RSC is named, noted that the WSU Foundation is still raising private funds to help offset the $33 million cost, most of which is being paid for through increased student fees. So far, about $1.7 million has been raised privately. Fundraising efforts are ongoing.

“In a year or so, we'll have a phenomenal and basically new facility.”

- James Rhatigan

   “I believe some naming opportunities might exist after the building is completed and open for business,” says Rhatigan, former WSU dean of students. “At that time, people will be able to see the actual space they’re interested in, and that will be exciting.”

   Since construction began last summer, all services offered at the RSC have continued, though some have been scaled back slightly. Most meeting space has been lost due to the construction, requiring people to find it other places on campus.

   Once students are back in classes this fall and the rush of business has subsided, an open house will be held in October to celebrate the mid-point of the construction, Coleman-Martins says. Until then, public tours will continue. To sign up for a tour, contact Megan Lamb at megan.lamb@wichita.edu.

Rhatigan Student Center rendering facing the main entrance on the east.

Members of the WSU Foundation Board of Directors, WSU Foundation staff and other friends toured the Rhatigan Student Center recently. Pictured are (l to r): Judy Hidgon, Al Higdon, Curt Gridley, Shelly Moore, Bill Moore, Elizabeth King, Dale Maltbie, Debbie Maltbie and Pam Fullinwider. Photo courtesy of Charles Short.

circle arrow To make a contribution to the Rhatigan Student Center project, contact James Rhatigan, consultant to the WSU Foundation and the WSU Alumni Association, at (316) 978-3846 or at james.rhatigan@wichita.edu.

 
 
 
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