KU awarded $50 million challenge grant for campus gateway project

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has been awarded a $50 million challenge grant by the Kansas Department of Commerce for the university’s campus gateway project.

The grant comes with a 3-to-1 university match requirement, meaning KU must provide $150 million in private funds to receive the $50 million in state funding.

“We are grateful for state support of our transformational campus development project,” Chancellor Douglas A. Girod said. “This project will develop a new campus gateway, new multiuse space and upgraded football facilities — all with an eye toward enhancing student enrollment and driving regional economic growth.”

KU first announced the campus gateway project in October 2022 and continues to work with partners to develop plans, budgets and timelines. The university will begin renovations to Anderson Family Football Complex, as well as site preparation work related to stormwater, sanitation, Wi-Fi availability and electrical upgrades, later this year.

State support for economic development

The Department of Commerce launched the University Challenge Grant program last year with funding proposed by Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and approved by the Kansas Legislature. The grants are intended to incentivize university-driven economic development, specifically projects that “attract and retain students and build the state workforce through increased enrollment.”

“We appreciate the Kansas leaders who had the vision to create this challenge grant program,” Girod said. “This includes Governor Kelly, who proposed the grant program in alignment with her Kansas Framework for Growth, and the Kansas legislators who included it in the budget. KU takes seriously its role as an engine of economic growth and the state’s premier talent magnet, and our campus gateway project positions us to continue fulfilling this role.”

Next steps for KU

As articulated in KU’s grant application, the university’s required $150 million private fund match will include a combination of private donations, development opportunities on the site and bonding debt serviced by stadium revenues.

“We still have a lot of work to do to move this project forward,” Girod said. “This challenge grant is just that – a challenge – for KU to keep identifying private funds for this project. I want our KU donors and friends to know that we will be calling on them in the months ahead for their support. And certainly, there will be much more to share as a concrete vision for this once-in-a-generation project progresses.”

Tue, 02/14/2023


Joe Monaco

Media Contacts

Joe Monaco

KU Office of Public Affairs