AP NEWS

New downtown Wichita complex could host culinary arts school

May 25, 2019

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A new culinary arts program could be in the works for downtown Wichita in a partnership among three centers of higher education.

Wichita State University, WSU Tech and Butler Community College are in talks but have yet to reach agreement on the proposal, The Wichita Eagle reported .

The culinary arts school would be established in a new downtown complex that will also host a private school of osteopathic medicine, student apartments and a hotel.

Developer Sudha Tokala said there’s a need for individuals with a broad spectrum of skills who can cater to all dietary requirements, including vegan and gluten free.

“My main goal in starting a culinary school would be that it be state-of-the-art and that it be mainly geared towards different culinary needs of today versus 10 years ago,” Tokala said.

She said her vision is for a place where students can “eat, study, play, work and live.”

The schools all emphasized that nothing has been agreed.

“WSU and WSU Tech are interested in the proposal for a new higher education cluster in downtown Wichita,” Joe Kleinsasser, a spokesman for Wichita State said in a written statement. “We’re in a learning stage and have more listening and analysis to do before considering a commitment.”

WSU Tech and WSU stamped on Butler Community College’s plan for a hospitality and culinary arts program in a former downtown fire station last year.

“Butler has been part of the conversations for a number of months regarding a partnered program with WSU Tech and Wichita State University,” said Kelly Snedden, director of college relations and marketing at Butler. “Nothing has been finalized ... but conversations are continuing.”

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com

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