K-State colleges struggle to find space for students across campus

With the increase of students enrolling into the colleges such as, College of Business Administration, the College of Engineering, and the College of Architecture, Planning and Design the lack of space has worried the K-state deans. (Kandace Griffin | The Collegian)

K-State’s colleges are struggling to find enough space to hold student classes, study and research. While some colleges, such as the College of Business Administration, the College of Engineering and the College of Architecture, Planning and Design are gaining new facilities, many of the K-State deans are still concerned about the lack of space for their students.

For the College of Agriculture, student numbers have increased by more than 50 percent in the last seven years and the college is, “bursting at the seams” according to John Floros, dean of the College of Agriculture.

“I wouldn’t like to stop growth, but I will have to if we are going to maintain the educational experience that our students and their predecessors are used to,” Floros said. “The quality of education we provide to our students is really second to none.”

According to Floros, the College of Agriculture is looking at several possibilities; the most likely outcome is a new facility.

“We are looking to build a very large facility,” Floros said. “Probably something to the extent of the largest building on campus within the next five to 10 years.”

Plans to progress with the College of Agriculture’s new facility were approved by President Kirk Schulz, Floros said.

Due to the construction of the College of Engineering’s new facility, Darren Dawson, dean of the College of Engineering, said the college has lost some space.

“I can actually see where we would run into some space issues even after we move into this building in two to three years,” Dawson said.

In 2013, the University Engineering Initiative Act, a financial incentive for the College of Engineering to grow enrollment by 750 students by 2023, was implemented. So far, the College of Engineering added 500 undergraduates over the last four years, according to Dawson.

Tim de Noble, dean of the College of Architecture, Planning and Design, is concerned about having enough space for the college and the right types of spaces to support his college’s teaching methods.

Seaton Hall, home of the College of Architecture, Planning and Design, will be renovated starting in the fall of 2015.

“We don’t have space that supports the way that we should be teaching design planning education going deep into the 21st century,” de Noble said.

According to de Noble, once the college has its new facility, the faculty will have enough space (and the right type of space) that they need for their students.

The College of Veterinary Medicine has capped enrollment at 112 students per entering class according to Ralph Richardson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. Richardson said via email that the College of Veterinary Medicine’s lecture halls are filled to capacity and that they are out of space.

The College of Veterinary Medicine’s library renovations are currently taking place, leaving the college without library study areas for the entirety of the fall 2014 semester.

The biggest challenge for the College of Education, however, is its special project with Ecuador, which entails training a large number of international students for extended class time, Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, said in an email.

“We cannot house all education courses within Bluemont Hall, so faculty often travel to other buildings with the resources they need to teach that particular day,” Mercer said via email.

Ali Malekzadeh, dean of the College of Business Administration, said in an email that while the College of Business Administration has severe space limitations, it will have enough space for students, faculty and staff by July 2016 when their new building is completed.