Desks are pictured in room 2046 of Capitol Federal Hall with the retractable wall in the room down
A view of the new classroom on the second floor of Capitol Federal Hall. The new classrooms on the second and third floor each have a retractable wall to allow for multiple configurations.

School’s growth prompts buildout of ‘shell spaces’ in Capitol Federal Hall

KU School of Business
Nov 18 · 3 min read

Five years after moving into Capitol Federal Hall, the KU School of Business is booming.

Overall enrollment has grown by about 42.5% percent since 2016, and the school has hired 36 tenure-track faculty from 2017 to 2021 to keep up with student growth and to replace retiring faculty.

Fortunately, anticipated growth was part of the school’s plan when it moved into Capitol Federal Hall in 2016: Three levels of unfinished spaces, or “shell spaces,” totaling 9,500 square feet were included to allow for future needs.

After five years in Capitol Federal Hall, those spaces have been transformed into flexible classrooms and office spaces thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends. School of Business faculty and staff gathered with advisory board members on Oct. 22, 2021, to celebrate the dedication of the spaces, located in the northeast corner of Capitol Federal Hall on the second, third and fourth floors.

The school began work to develop these areas during the fall 2019 semester, realizing the need to accommodate recent growth in enrollment and faculty hires. Construction launched with the fourth-floor space to build a doctoral student office suite including workstations, collaboration rooms and a lounge. This addition not only gives doctoral students dedicated common workspaces, but it also frees up already existing offices for the school’s growing number of faculty members.

The new fourth-floor space is a doctoral office suite with workstations, collaboration rooms and a lounge.

Additional donor support allowed for efforts to begin during the spring 2020 semester turning the second- and third-floor spaces into flexible classrooms and team rooms. Construction of these spaces was completed by fall 2020. On each floor, these spaces include two team rooms and a classroom with a retractable wall that can be configured into one large classroom with 96 desks or two classrooms with 48 desks. The new classrooms help meet the school’s need for physical space associated with recent curricular revisions and additions, including sections of BUS 150: Foundations of Business, a required course for undergraduates that launched during the 2020–21 academic year.

In other parts of Capitol Federal Hall, additional projects made possible by donor gifts over the past couple of years include:

  • Renovation of the Dean’s Suite to add an associate dean office;
  • The construction of area director and administrative assistant offices on the fourth floor; and
  • Temperature and noise improvements on the first floor in the Business Career Services and Student & Academic Services suites.

Made possible by the generosity of Business Jayhawks

The School of Business thanks alumni and friends who provided financial support to complete these recent projects in Capitol Federal Hall. In addition to the more than 20 donors who provided naming gifts, numerous others made gifts during KU’s One Day. One KU. 24-hour giving campaign in 2020 and 2021.

“In today’s competitive world KU business students and faculty need to have an up-to-date environment that utilizes the latest teaching and learning methodology,” said John Lettmann, KU School of Business alumnus and donor to the project. “Continuing investment in the school is a good first step to attract top faculty and students.”

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