HAYS, Kan. -- Even a university can experience growing
pains. Fort Hays State University has the cure.
Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, joined with staff
from Residential Life and with friends and alumni today to dedicate the newest
building on the university's campus. A new and much more modern Agnew Hall
opened at the beginning of this fall semester on the site of the former Agnew Hall, which
was razed in the summer of 2010 because of its deteriorating condition and
"The students really helped us design this
model," he said. "I'm pleased with the way it came out."
Dr. Tisa Mason, vice president of Students Affairs,
explained that students were consulted to determine the characteristics of the
new residence hall. "This is a building that was dreamed about," she
said, adding that "it was built to fit the dream."
Brian Faust, director of Residential Life, said the
model for new Agnew Hall -- which offers suite-style housing -- was halfway
between a traditional residence hall and apartment housing, such as Stadium
Place on the FHSU campus. "A suite in Agnew Hall consists of four single
bedrooms, where students get a bedroom to themselves, a small living room and a
small kitchenette with a counter, microwave and small refrigerator," he
A year ago, the continuing growth in enrollment and the corresponding increase in demand for
student housing forced the university to temporarily locate some of its male
students at the local Motel 6. Dr. Hammond
explained at the time that the overflow resulted from an increase in the rate
of retention and from increased recruitment of students.
From an enrollment of 5,800 in the year 2000, FHSU
enrollment grew to 12,802 last year and to 13,310 this semester. With 123 beds,
Agnew Hall meets this year's increased demand. This was only the first phase of
residence hall expansion. The second phase, which will provide 107 beds, will
open in fall 2013 and help meet the demands of continuing growth at FHSU.
The cost for the two residence halls is $9.2 million, which
includes construction, architectural fees, furnishings and so forth. Paul-Wertenberger
Construction Inc., a Hays company, is the developer/contractor
for the project.
Brian Smith, a Maxwell, Neb., sophomore and resident of
Agnew Hall, said he was excited to move in at the beginning of the semester.
"I felt like it was a 5-star hotel," he said. "It's a fun place
to be, and I love living here."
Public tours of the new Agnew Hall and the other
residence halls followed the dedication ceremony, allowing alumni to reminisce
about their days of living on campus and giving other visitors a glimpse into
modern student life.
The residence hall project is
just one of four construction projects on the FHSU campus. The others include
the recently completed road along the dike by Big Creek extending Dwight Drive
to Gustad Drive; a new academic building, the Center for Networked Learning,
which will be constructed in the area between the Big Creek dike and Tomanek
Hall; and a new indoor sports facility that is under construction at the
southeast corner of the FHSU campus near Lewis Field Stadium.
The total cost of the four projects is about $30 million,
with a projected economic impact on the region and state of about $45 million.