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William T. Kemper Foundation gives $1 million boost to Seaton Complex

By Hayli Morrison

The Kansas City, Missouri-based William T. Kemper Foundation has made a gift of $1 million to the College of Architecture, Planning & Design (APDesign) at Kansas State University to support the Seaton Complex revitalization and expansion.

With expected groundbreaking in fall 2015, the $75 million project will renovate 80,000 square feet of Seaton Hall and add 114,000 square feet of new construction. The building will include consolidated fabrication capabilities, integrated design labs, collaborative spaces and a 300-seat auditorium. In recognition of the gift, the exterior amphitheatre will be named the William T. Kemper Foundation Amphitheatre. Upon completion, the amphitheatre will serve as a public gathering place for students, faculty and visitors to interact outdoors. (more)

 

Ben Barnert

Architect’s legacy helps K-State students build strong futures

By Hayli Morrison

Ben Barnert graduated from K-State’s College of Architecture, Planning & Design in 1977 and proceeded to work on legendary sports architecture projects like Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. After succumbing to an 18-month battle with cancer in July 2013, Barnert’s legacy continues at his alma mater with gifts from family, former coworkers and friends.

The Ben Barnert Memorial Scholarship will support architecture students at the university Barnert loved. Darla Barnert, Ben’s wife and high school sweetheart, looks forward to watching the professional journeys of the scholarship recipients.

“Ben would be so proud,” she said. “His thought was always, don’t be afraid to dream and step out there.”

One of Ben Barnert’s more memorable achievements while at K-State was his involvement with a committee to build a new house for Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. The house now stands near the eastern edge of campus and contains a conference room named after Ben.

“That’s really where he felt like he learned leadership and how to bring people together from all walks of life to work together for a common goal,” Darla Barnert said.

After college, during his three-decade career with Populous global design firm, he was promoted to senior partner and principal while leading more than 20 high-profile sports facility projects. Along the way, he developed a reputation as a terrific mentor and leader with strong problem-solving skills, fun-loving yet driven and dedicated to his work.

“Beyond his skills as an architect, he was simply one of the best people I have ever known,” said Rick Martin, retired senior principal of Populous. “He was caring of others, respectful, giving of his time, funny and compassionate. He was a great friend, and he is missed by all of us who were fortunate enough to have Ben in our lives.” 

 

Design Team Announced!

As many are well aware, last week was a major milestone in the history of APDesign. Thursday, four incredible design teams presented their qualifications to lead the process of reworking Seaton Hall into a 21st Century nexus of design and planning teaching, research and service. I am both thankful and proud of the showing made by our students, faculty, staff and alumni. Each session had approximately 200 in attendance, providing us with very useful feedback through completed questionnaires and commentary. (Click"more" to find out who was chosen)

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Dean Tim de Noble interviewed on Orvieto TV

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APDesign Students Win K-State Tunnel Dance Challenge

APDesign students dance their way to victory in the K-State Tunnel Dance Challenge.