Wichita State to Build Hotel on Innovation Campus

WICHITA, Kan. — The first building to take shape in the mixed-use corner of Wichita State University’s Innovation Campus will be a 123-room Element by Westin Hotel. The 20-acre area, to be named Braeburn Square, will also feature restaurants and shops in addition to lodging. Construction on the hotel is set to begin in spring 2017, with completion scheduled for fall 2018.

"As we talk with companies about locating on the Innovation Campus, one of the repeated requests is for a hotel to serve the needs of business travelers," said John Tomblin, vice president for research and technology transfer, in a statement. "The hotel is a must-have for continued growth on campus. In addition to corporate visitors, it will also serve families of prospective and current students, guest speakers and those attending arts, athletics and other campus events."

The first two buildings of the Innovation Campus are already under construction and set to debut this fall. They include the 116,000-square-foot Experiential Engineering Building, which will include 25 laboratories and a community makerspace called GoCreate, a Koch collaborative. The first partnership building will house the 90,000-square-foot Airbus North Engineering Center for up to 400 Airbus employees and Wichita State students engaging in applied learning with the company.

A third building, the Law Enforcement Training Center, was announced in April. The training center is a collaboration between the city of Wichita, Sedgwick County and the WSU Criminal Justice Department, where police officers, deputies and students will be trained and educated.

"We continue to implement our plan to create an innovation district where students, faculty, staff, partners and the community can collaboratively learn, work, live and play," said Wichita State President John Bardo in a statement. "At its heart, the Innovation Campus isn’t about buildings. It’s about creating an environment for applied learning and research to stimulate and grow the Kansas economy."

GLMV Architecture is developing plans for Braeburn Square, while Law Kingdon Architecture is developing plans for the hotel — both of which are based locally in Wichita. Braeburn Square buildings will be privately financed without using student or public funds, according to a statement.