Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why does the Rhatigan Student Center need to be renovated?
- The Rhatigan Student Center was built 50+ years ago to meet the needs of students enrolled at the time. Today's students engage in the learning process in different ways by using
technology and social interaction. The new building design is focused on today's student.
- Building Today for Tomorrow!
What will this renovation accomplish?
- Technology integration, expansion and support.
- Crossroads to campus. Improved traffic flow throughout the building.
- Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines. This includes ADA accessible entrances, restrooms, elevators, signage, doorways, food service areas and passage ways
(stairways, hallways, emergency exits, etc). Some of these enhancements require significant structural & mechanical modification (restrooms, elevators, entrances).
- Increased social space for student and faculty interaction. Additional meeting space based on the role the student union plays in the students, faculty, staff and community constituent
groups. Growing from just over 6,000 square feet of meeting space to 13,800+ square feet. Many new meeting spaces will be multifunctional spaces that can accommodate any type of meeting or
- Student groups will be located together on the second floor. The Center for Student Leadership, the Student Activities Council, the Student Government Association and the Office of
Multicultural Affairs will all be located in a common area, which will accommodate access for extended office hours for these groups. Although all four groups are moving into the same part of
the building, they are ALL gaining additional square footage over what they have today.
- The Ballroom will be expanded to accommodate even larger events. Increased space by approximately 25%-30%.
- Become more energy efficient by upgrading mechanical systems.
- Ability to section off the building into multiple "zones" that can be secured to allow for after hours accessibility.
- Updating and expanding technology in meeting rooms.
- Separated dining area that will be available for groups to book for a more private event.
- More lounges will welcome students, faculty and staff. Growing from just under 5,000 square feet today to just over 11,500+ square feet.
- Two outdoor performance stages for activities and events.
- New entrances on west and north end with new entrance plaza on east side.
- The Alumni Association and Career Services will have satellite offices in the new student center.
Will the Rhatigan Student Center be open during the renovation?
- Our intention is to keep as much of the RSC open during the entire renovation including Copperfields, Commerce Bank, the University Bookstore, and the William H. Smith Bowling and
Recreation Center. These areas may be temporarily closed or relocated to other parts of campus during the remodel.
When is the project going to start & when will it be completed?
- Although hard dates have yet to be established we are hoping to begin construction in March 2012. This project will be done in phases over the next 2-3 years with an overall targeted
completion date of August 2014.
Are they going to demolish the existing building?
- Not entirely. The existing building will stay intact with expansion to both the east & north end of the building. Approximately 80% of the interior of the building will be demolished
& re-done, but the core structure will remain the same.
Is the RSC getting bigger?
- Yes. The renovation will add approximately 60,000 square feet to the existing building. Currently, the RSC is around 160,000 square feet. After renovation we will have approximately 220,000
How is this project being funded?
- The Rhatigan Renewal project is being funded by student fees and through private donation. Why student fees? The State of Kansas will not fund building expansion/renovation
of student unions. The only funding sources for this type of project are either student fees or private donation. The Wichita State University Foundation is currently soliciting private
donations which will be used to shorten the term length of the bonds issued for this project. It will not decrease the amount of the student fee; only how long the fee is accessed.
Will there be an increase in tuition to fund this project?
- The renovation project is being funded by student fees & private donations. A $6/credit hour fee assessment for this project went into effect in the fall 2010. There will be no
additional fee increase for this project.
- Note: tuition & student fees are 2 separate assessments. Tuition most likely will increase, but not due to funding of this project.
Will additional parking be added with this renovation?
- Additional parking is not part of this phase of the renovation project. Keep in mind, we are neither losing nor gaining spaces in the RSC parking lot with this project.
- There is a good chance that a major portion, if not all, of lot 7 (RSC parking lot) will be closed during construction & used for construction material & equipment staging.
Will there be more food options?
- At this point in time we are not looking to add any new food options. However, we are expanding our food service areas to allow for future growth & additional concepts.
Is the building going to be more "green"?
- A lot of work is going into making the building more energy efficient & sustainable. We are designing & building toward LEED standards, but will not be seeking LEED certification.
Will the name of the building change?
- The name of the building will remain the Rhatigan Student Center. There are naming opportunities for different areas in & around the building. If you're interested in this
opportunity please contact the WSU Foundation.