Ground is broken for the Promise Bridge, a major new landmark at WSU

Supporters and leaders of Wichita State University gathered Tuesday, Aug. 31, to break ground on the Promise Bridge, a walkway that will link the Innovation Campus to the main campus and will be a marquee fixture just south of Wayne and Kay Woolsey Hall, new home to the W. Frank Barton School of Business.

Now under construction, Woolsey Hall is expected to open in mid-2022. The WSU Foundation and its campus/community partners raised private funds to pay for about half the cost of the new facility and for the entire cost of the Promise Bridge.

In his remarks during the groundbreaking, WSU President Rick Muma described the pedestrian bridge as a major campus landmark intended to be a gathering spot not only for students, but also for the entire community.

“Its location between the innovation and main campus will serve to strengthen our current partnerships and encourage future investment in Wichita State University and its students,” Muma said.

Barton School Dean Larisa Genin said the walkway’s three-pronged shape is not only a distinctive architectural feature, but also a representation of the university’s and business school’s commitment to academics, research and industry.

“The bridge is a physical manifestation of the promise we make to our students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners,” Genin said in describing why the structure was named the Promise Bridge.

The Promise Bridge will span a large water feature south of Woolsey Hall. It will feature a seating bench along the length of the bridge, with wi-fi provided so that students and visitors can gather and work there. Light fixtures will illuminate the bridge and water at night, and two small lighted fountains will be located at each end of the bridge.