ɫƵ and KU host Wichita Biomedical Campus groundbreaking ceremony

Hundreds of people gathered today (Wednesday, May 8) to celebrate the start of Phase One construction on the new Wichita Biomedical Campus, a $300 million, 471,000-square-foot joint health sciences center in the heart of downtown Wichita.

The Wichita Biomedical Campus is a joint project between ɫƵ and the University of Kansas. Once complete, the campus will combine ɫƵ’s College of Health Professions programs, including its Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, ɫƵ Tech’s health care program and the Wichita campuses of KU School of Medicine and KU School of Pharmacy — all into one location.

“The Wichita Biomedical Campus is a tangible expression of our dedication to advancing health care through collaboration and innovation,” said Wichita State President Rick Muma. “By bringing together researchers, health care professionals and industry leaders, we’re creating an environment where groundbreaking discoveries can thrive and where collaboration sparks innovation. This campus will be at the forefront of transforming health care, ultimately improving the lives of countless individuals.”

The first phase — expected to open in spring 2027 — will be 355,000 square feet located at the southeast corner of Broadway and William and will include shared spaces for advanced laboratories, technology and simulation rooms for hands-on training. Wichita State and ɫƵ Tech will share the first four stories of the eight-story tower. The fifth story is a shared simulation floor. KU will use the top three stories for its classrooms, workspaces and offices.

Initially, about 3,000 students and 200 faculty and staff will be housed at the center, with opportunities for growth in existing and new programs. Future phases will be located at 214 S. Topeka (where the Wichita Transit Center, set to move to Delano, is currently located). 

The pooling of these collective health science and biomedical resources and experiences will open the door for a myriad of collaboration, innovation and research — and it will be transformative for downtown Wichita. The goal is to eventually create an entire health care corridor where health care services, education, research and technology can be established near existing private hospitals and health care providers. That proximity will strengthen interprofessional health care learning, while creating opportunities for partnerships in new and emerging research fields.

“The collaboration within the Wichita Biomedical Campus will provide multiple advantages for KU students,” says Dr. Garold Minns, dean of KU School of Medicine-Wichita. “Adding to the already popular benefit of immersive community hands-on experiences, the opportunity to expand their inter-professional learning and training skills in a centralized location will enhance KU School of Medicine-Wichita’s draw for medical students. All of these facets and more will make for better future physicians and ultimately patient outcomes.”

$205 million has been raised for the campus so far — enough to start Phase One. Funding included $190 million by the Kansas Legislature, which included ARPA dollars, and $15 million from the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, made available through the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas Executive Committee and State Finance Council. The Kansas Health Foundation also was instrumental in providing funding for the initial needs assessment that helped start the project.  

ɫƵ, ɫƵ Tech and KU will continue to explore all avenues of funding, including federal, state, local and private funding for the final project.

Support for the initiative was evident at the groundbreaking ceremony, where along with students, staff and faculty from each institution, the following individuals took part: Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, Kansas Senate President Ty Masterson, Kansas House Speaker Dan Hawkins, Wichita Mayor Lily Wu, Sedgwick County Commissioner Ryan Baty and Greater Wichita Partnership President Jeff Fluhr.

“This project owes its success to the unwavering support from our community and state leaders, as well as our collaborating institutions,” Muma says. “This collaboration truly showcases the transformative power of partnerships and reflects our collective belief in the future prosperity of the city of Wichita.”

“This partnership to create the Wichita Biomedical Campus represents an innovative way to effectively advance our mission to educate the leaders of tomorrow and help build healthy and vibrant communities,” said Dr. Douglas A. Girod, chancellor of the University of Kansas. “This will be a game changer for the state in terms of synergies and efficient use of resources. We want to thank ɫƵ for partnering with us to advance health care in the state of Kansas.”

About ɫƵ

ɫƵ is Kansas' only urban public research university, enrolling more than 23,000 students between its main campus and ɫƵ Tech, including students from every state in the U.S. and more than 100 countries. Wichita State and ɫƵ Tech are recognized for being student centered and innovation driven.

Located in the largest city in the state with one of the highest concentrations in the United States of jobs involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), ɫƵ provides uniquely distinctive and innovative pathways of applied learning, applied research and career opportunities for all of our students.

The Innovation Campus, which is a physical extension of the ɫƵ main campus, is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing research/innovation parks, encompassing over 120 acres and is home to a number of global companies and organizations.

Follow Wichita State on social media:

Read more stories like this