Arts & Culture

Big bronze WuShock planned for WSU a relative of underground troll near the Keeper

The YMCA being built on the Wichita State university campus will have a bronze greeter who will be taller than the tallest Shocker basketball player.

The university announced on Wednesday that it is planning an 8-foot-tall bronze sculpture of its mascot WuShock that will be posted at the entrance of the new YMCA and Student Wellness Center, which is set to open this spring.

Wichita sculptor Connie Ernatt, who also is responsible for the famous underground troll statue near the Keeper of the Plains, is in the process of creating the piece, which is based on a sketch by well-known local artist Wade Hampton and will feature a more old-school representation of Wu.

Steve Clark, a local real estate developer and longtime YMCA board member who the new YMCA will be named for, suggested and offered to finance the statute during the planning and design process for the new YMCA, which will be Wichita’s 10th. The sculpture will honor his late wife, Judy Broshears Clark, who died in a car accident in 1989.

The new YMCA, which will be at the corner of Mike Oatman and Mid Campus Drives, is now under construction and is scheduled to open just before the coming spring semester. The 77,000 square-foot facility will offer YMCA programs and activities open to the public plus a Student Wellness Center and an urgent care facility.

Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.