WICHITA, Kansas – Workers are starting to put the finishing touches on Shocker Hall, which will house almost 800 students, provide them with a dining hall and a short jaunt to classes.
“I think the location is key,” Steve Larson, WSU’s housing director, said. “Students want to get up, they don’t want to have much time in between when they get up and go to class. There will be no parking issues for them, they’re going to be able to run out of bed and go to class.”
The hall would provide a more traditional college experience for the students who land a place there, and there’s belief among administrators that the completed construction of the residence hall is another positive step toward continued growth.
“I think it’s going to start changing who we are,” Larson said. “I think people are going to start looking at it like, you know what, I can live on-campus now, I don’t have to commute, and there’s some really great facilities.”
Administrators at WSU say the school’s recent growth can be seen in terms of increased applications and enrollment.
“There’s just a lot of activity, a lot of buzz here on-campus and that buzz has really translated well outside of campus to the greater Wichita area, statewide and nationally,” Bobby Gandu, WSU’s admissions director.
It may be the basketball team that starts the conversation with future shockers, but Gandu says WSU has been recruiting students from a larger national footprint than ever before.
“A lot of students are seeing us on the cutting edge of universities nationwide, and they want to be part of that discussion,” Gandu said. “They know that if they come here that they will have a progressive education, where they’re able to get skills, abilities and the training they need to be successful in the job market.”