PITTSBURG, Kan. — Officials at Pittsburg State University say longtime Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, who died over the weekend at age 98, was instrumental in securing funding for the Kansas Technology Center.
The 286,000-square-foot center now houses College of Technology departments such as automotive technology, engineering technology, graphics and imaging technologies, and construction. Since it opened in 1997, tens of thousands of students have studied there, officials said.
“The KTC simply wouldn’t be here were it not for the efforts of Bob Dole,” said Robert Frisbee, dean of the College of Technology, in a statement Monday.
In 1990, Dole requested funding to support a construction project on the PSU campus that was estimated to cost $27 million in order to expand the university’s technology programs. He announced in August of that year that $6 million had been appropriated for it.
In July 1991, Dole announced that the same project had garnered another $4 million in federal funding, PSU officials said.
“This Southeast Kansas resource is a vital addition to our state’s educational network,” Dole said at that time, according to the university. “When you talk about jobs, you are talking about the future of Kansas, and it will look a little brighter knowing that the latest hands-on training will be available at this Pittsburg State center. I am pleased this quality project continues to win congressional approval.”
The Kansas Technology Center was dedicated Oct. 24, 1997. One of its wings was dedicated May 31, 2004, as the Sen. Robert J. Dole Technology Building.
“He was a friend to Pittsburg State in a way that was incredibly impactful and long lasting,” PSU President Steve Scott said in a statement. “Countless students and their employers — and the communities they serve — wound up benefiting from his support.”
A paver honoring Dole’s service to the nation in World War II is part of the amphitheater at the PSU Veterans Memorial, located across from the Kansas Technology Center.