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Gateway To KU - Docking fountain to beautify campus entrance

Contruction to begin this month on project near Smith Hall, Kansas Union

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An artist's rendering shows what the Docking Family Gateway will look like. It will be 19 feet, 6 inches tall and feature water fountains. Construction is scheduled to begin later this month.

Plans call for construction of the new Docking fountain and gateway, a beautification project to make the entry to campus more attractive and welcoming, to begin later this month.

The fountain and gateway will be near 13th Street and Oread Avenue, between Smith Hall and the Kansas Union.

The gateway and fountain are scheduled for completion by the beginning of the fall semester, pending approval by the Campus Historic Preservation Board and the Lawrence Historical Resources Committee.

The traffic booth currently at 13th and Oread, from which access to campus is coordinated, will be demolished and a temporary replacement will be installed near 14th Street and Jayhawk Boulevard. A new, permanent traffic booth will be designed and constructed at a later date.

The gateway will feature a fountain with vertical jets of water in a round plaza with landscaping and stone signage. The gateway and fountain will be oval-shaped and about 16 feet wide. The signage pylon will be 19 feet, 6 inches tall. Inscriptions reading "The University of Kansas" and "Docking Family Gateway" will face north. There will be no sidewalk around the fountain, or a pool of water. Water from the fountain will drain to a reservoir below the pavement.

A $500,000 donation from KU alumnus Jill Docking and her husband, former Kansas Lt. Gov. Tom Docking, to KU Endowment is paying for most of the $600,000 project. University resources are funding improvements to the street.

Oread Avenue will remain open to traffic during construction but may be reduced to one lane of traffic at times. Traffic plans will be announced before construction begins.

Donna Hultine, director of parking, said gateway construction and removal of the booth would not change parking in the area and should improve public access to the Union.

The Docking family, for which the fountain will be named, includes two former governors and several KU alumni.

"Jill and I hope our support of this valuable enhancement to the campus will return to KU some of the immense benefit our family has received over many generations," Tom Docking said when plans for the fountain were first announced.