The push to build a YMCA facility and health and wellness center on the Wichita State campus won state approval on Thursday.
The Kansas Board of Regents approved a WSU proposal to charge students a new $95 health and wellness student fee.
Money from the new fee will go toward a facility on the Innovation Campus that will feature health services, recreational features, counseling and testing services and a walk-in day care.
The Greater Wichita YMCA and the university announced their partnership in March.
Teri Hall, WSU’s vice president for student affairs, said in a news release the partnership would “place WSU at the forefront of national best practices for student well-being.”
Student president Paige Hungate said the new center would help the university attract and retain students by providing beneficial services.
“This transformative facility has the power to greatly improve the quality of student life,” Hungate said in a news release.
WSU’s new student government narrowly voted last month to support a student fee to pay for the YMCA, reversing course from the previous government that widely rejected a per-credit-hour increase in March.
Hundreds of students signed a petition against the fee, saying the university rushed the idea through this spring semester without a proper regard for student concerns.
The proposal should go before the YMCA board of directors this summer. The university will form a committee made up of YMCA officials, WSU students and staff to provide recommendations on the new facility.
It could take another two to three years for additional fundraising and the YMCA to be designed and constructed, according to WSU’s news release.
WSU’s complete fee proposal includes an intercollegiate athletic fee increase but lower student services fees for many students. Overall, the university says in its proposal, an undergraduate student taking 15 credit hours would pay $18.55 more in student fees, about a 2.5 percent increase.