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July 7, 2015 – Wichita State University

Wichita State University will receive $1 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) for the construction of roads and parking that will provide access to the Innovation Campus. U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development and EDA Chief Operating Officer Matt Erskine will be in Wichita Wednesday for grant updates from Wichita State and Pittsburg State University and an Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) Roundtable.

The WSU project includes construction of an access road to the west of Innovation Campus’ Experiential Engineering Building that connects with Perimeter Road and a roundabout east of the building on a new campus entry road. Named “Innovation Way,” the road will be the main entrance to the Experiential Engineering Building parking lot and will be extended northward from 17th Street to Mike Oatman Drive in future development.

Planning map showing new roads and parking for WSU campus
The grant from the EDA will fund the construction of roads and parking that will provide access to the Innovation Campus including an access road to the west of the Experiential Engineering Building.

The Experiential Engineering Building will house research, commercialization and educational laboratories including a community maker space and the Multi-Robotic Additive Manufacturing laboratory. It will also include institutional business spin-outs and technology-based businesses that benefit from co-location with institutional technical and business faculty and a student workforce.

The laboratories and centers located in the Experiential Engineering Building will engage businesses and train students, and are expected to create more than 400 related jobs within three years.

“The Obama Administration and the Commerce Department are committed to ensuring that young people are getting the training they need in cutting-edge technologies so that they can compete for the jobs of the future,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “The EDA investment announced today will enable students to learn the latest innovative manufacturing techniques that employers are looking for now.

WSU will provide $1 million in funds to match the EDA grant. The cost-match funds are provided by sale bonds. Construction is expected to begin in the fall and be complete within approximately 36 months.

WSU’s Innovation Campus and Experiential Engineering Building are based on an applied learning model that provides opportunities for student employment on campus in order to allow students to build their skill sets and prepare them to become productive employees upon completing their degrees.

“These activities will bring together WSU faculty staff and students with large and small businesses and government agencies to accelerate innovation by advancing industry-relevant manufacturing technologies and processes,” said John Tomblin, WSU’s vice president for research and technology transfer.

Wichita State leads the South Kansas IMCP consortia, which has prioritized advanced manufacturing research and innovation investments as the primary catalytic public investments for the region. IMCP is an initiative designed to revolutionize the way federal agencies leverage economic development funds. Through IMCP, the federal government is rewarding best practices – coordinating federal aid to support communities’ strong development plans and synchronizing grant programs across multiple departments and agencies.

Editor’s note: This article was published by Wichita State University, with the following information:

The community and media are invited to attend the grant updates and discussion from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 8 in the Student Center auditorium at the National Center for Aviation Training with media availability at 12:15 p.m.


The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.