DALLAS - The University of Kansas plans to combine revenue bond proceeds with private donations to build a $17.5 million apartment building primarily for KU's basketball team.

The Kansas Regents voted 8-1 on Jan. 15 to amend its fiscal year 2014 capital improvements plan to include the Fieldhouse Apartments south of the basketball team's Allen Fieldhouse on its Lawrence campus.

The building will house about 66 students and will be operated and managed under the division of student housing. National Collegiate Athletic Association rules forbid exclusive housing for athletes, so some non-athletes will be allowed to live in the complex, officials said.

Plans call for every apartment to include a full kitchen, living and dining rooms. Each floor would have a lounge, two team meeting rooms, tutoring space and a multipurpose room. Construction is not expected to start until 2015.

Up to $10 million for the project will come from private contributions, according to Theresa Gordzica, KU's chief business and financial planning officer. Revenue bonds would be backed by apartment rents.

The Kansas Jayhawks are perennial contenders for NCAA basketball's national championship. The KU athletic department said it needs the housing to compete with other programs. In 2012, the University of Kentucky raised $7 million for a privately-funded dormitory called the Wildcat Coal Lodge for its basketball team.

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