Move-in day at Downs welcomes Jayhawks to a new home

Posted on Aug 17, 2017 in Campus News and News

Check InAs KU’s construction of the new Central District continues, the anchor tenant is now ready for the public. On August 17, Cora Downs Residence Hall opened to welcome the newest generation of Jayhawks.

KU Student Housing’s biggest day of the year went off without a hitch, thanks to a small army of student volunteers helping direct traffic, unload cars, and move items up to new students’ rooms.

“I volunteered at Oliver Hall last year, nine floors with two elevators meant huge lines. Downs is a lot more efficient,” said junior Jayden Garetson. “We’re all here from various campus organizations to help out, and we even have some freshmen who moved in yesterday too.”Unloading

Volunteers appreciated the smooth-running system, and even the most move-in day experienced parents couldn’t help but be surprised. “We have moved six kids into college, and KU has the easiest, most efficient, and organized move-in we have ever done,” Sally Ahlgren said.

Big JayBeyond the move-in, The Ahlgrens knew they were leaving their daughter Maryclaire in good hands at Downs Hall. “We’ve certainly noticed the friendliness of the students here,” Bob Ahlgren said. “We’ve been to a lot of universities and can tell right away. This is a good group of people, we can feel that.”

Downs Hall is named for Dr. Cora Downs, c’15 g’20 PhD’24, a lifetime Jayhawk. Downs received her undergraduate, master’s, and doctorate degrees from KU, and served as an instructor and faculty member until her retirement in 1963. The only break in her service to the University was to serve the country, when Downs spent World War II leading 40 scientists on secret biological warfare research. Honors given to Downs include a Distinguished Service Citation in 1962, induction into the KU Women’s Hall of Fame in 1970, and being named a Pioneer Woman by the Emily Taylor Center in 2008.

Located at 19th and Naismith, Downs Hall holds 545 residents and is directly west of Oliver Hall, with the new South Dining Commons connecting the two residence halls. Four different floor plans are offered, which can be viewed below. Floor plans courtesy of housing.ku.edu.

-Ryan Camenzind

4-p, 2-b, noliver4 p, 2 b, share bedroom noliver 4 p private bed, noliver 2 p private bedroom, shared bath

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KU’s newest dining hall opens for behind-the-scenes preview

Posted on Aug 9, 2017 in Campus News and News

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With move-in day fast approaching, the KU Memorial Union hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours of KU’s newest dining option, South Dining Commons, on August 9.

Replacing Oliver Dining Hall, South Dining Commons is located at 18th and Naismith and is part of the Central District Plan. The 22,000 square-foot dining facility will primarily serve residents from Oliver and Downs residential halls, but is available for students, faculty, staff and the general public to enjoy.

Features of the facility include a variety of seating options, natural light from all directions, and the largest known game day flag presiding over the center. Director of KU Dining Mark Petrino described the dining hall as “a fun and unique design that will enhance the student experience for years to come.”

The facility houses 12 different food stations, offering a variety of options including Italian, Tex-Mex, homestyle, and the KYou zone, which offers vegan dishes and other options for dietary needs.

South Dining Commons will also have a grab-and-go grocery store, South Side, continuing the trend of offering quicker food options on campus, such as Jayhawk Grocer in Self Hall and the Studio Café in Hashinger Hall. A new commissary will also be hosted at South Dining Commons, where food will be stored and prepared for all KU Dining locations.

With a facility that feeds hundreds of students and distributes for thousands, a KU Dining’s large staff continues to grow. Over 200 employees are already on board, with around 150 of them students. Hiring will continue into the school year.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony featured Petrino; Tammara Durham, vice provost for student affairs; Sarah Waters, director of KU Housing; and Harneet Sanghera, KU Memorial Union Corporation Board President.

“I have no doubt that in two weeks time, we will have new and returning Jayhawks laughing, creating memories, and dining on the wonderful food here,” Sanghera said, and the ribbon gave way to a giant pair of scissors, officially welcoming all of KU inside.

The KU Alumni Association was invited to tour the new facility. Check out our pictures and video below:

 

-Ryan Camenzind

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