LAWRENCE – The creation of the Achievement and Assessment Institute at the University of Kansas earlier this year also created the need for something in short supply on campus: office space.
To help meet that need, the KU Center for Research Inc. (KUCR) has purchased a building at 1617 St. Andrews Drive in Lawrence to house the rapidly expanding staff of the institute. The 11,700-square-foot, two-level facility was constructed in 1974 for the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. By Tuesday, Oct. 1, as many as 40 institute staff will have relocated to new offices in the building, and room remains for additional anticipated growth.
KUCR, the university’s not-for-profit research foundation, used private funds to close the deal on Sept. 4. The previous owner was the public-private Bioscience & Technology Business Center, which operates two business incubators at the KU campus in Lawrence and a third in Kansas City at the KU Medical Center.
The St. Andrews property occupies 1.5 acres of land, including a substantial existing parking area. It is adjacent to Alvamar Country Club and just south of the Alvamar Professional Building. KU Continuing Education is located in the next building farther north, at 1515 St. Andrews Drive.
“The institute was just founded but is already growing,” said Steve Warren, vice chancellor for research and graduate studies and president of KUCR. “There’s an immediate need for basic space to house a large number of new hires. While the institute is headquartered with the School of Education in Pearson Hall, its staff can work almost anywhere.”
In addition to small individual offices, the St. Andrews building features a large conference room and other common areas that will make it an excellent place to work.
“Buying the property at this time is a good investment for KUCR,” said Warren.
The Achievement and Assessment Institute is directed by Neal Kingston, professor in the Department of Psychology and Research in Education. It has a substantial portfolio of current grant funding, primarily from the U.S. Department of Education and the Kansas Department of Education. For example, the institute’s Dynamic Learning Maps project for students with significant cognitive disabilities received a $22 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2010, and 17 states plan to implement it in their schools starting in 2014. Institute staff are funded primarily by such grants.