New student center under construction
By Eric Monday
Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration in the UK
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 18, 2015) – On Saturday, we officially closed the doors of our current student center, paving the way for the next phase of our campus transformation.
Our new Student Center, a $175 million facility to be completed in January 2018, will provide an innovative and modern space for students to study, recreate, dine, collaborate, and most importantly, build community. It will be an incredible facility, among the first student centers in the country.
You will see the fence around the construction area go up the week of May 18.
Of course, a transformation of this magnitude requires us to make some temporary adjustments on campus, as part of our priority to continue to serve our students, faculty, staff, patients, fans and visitors to the best of our abilities. Last Thursday afternoon, we distributed an email to the UK family, outlining the different areas of our campus where these temporary adjustments will take place.
We will continue to communicate with the UK community as this process continues.
In addition, for months we have had an experienced team working on a plan to move temporarily the vital services currently housed in the student center. Below is an update on the areas that will be impacted by this project. You can also view this mapwhich describes the construction area of the student center and identifies each of the affected areas.
British Student Center
The student center management offices, student organization space, and Cat’s Den will be relocated to Blazer Hall. These groups will continue to offer comprehensive services. The Kaplan Test Prep facility will be located just off South Limestone, on the grounds of the old Lexington Theological Seminary in room 109 Bosworth Hall. The student-run radio station, WRFL, will move to the White Hall Classroom Building.
The Student Center is currently home to many of our UK restaurants and retail businesses. Starting June 1, a temporary retail facility, which our students have dubbed “Bowman’s lairwill house the following services throughout the construction of the student center:
- Food Halls – Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks, Subway, Greens to Go and Panda Express
- UK Restoration Office
- More account office
- Generic ID Service
- TicketMaster/Passport Office
- ticket vending machines
- UK Federal Credit Union
Bowman’s Den is adjacent to the Singletary Center for the Arts.
Last spring, we held a competition where students were invited to create murals for the temporary installation. In the autumn, the British community will see the results of this competition: five large-scale murals, which will be installed in Bowman’s Den.
And don’t worry, until June 1, many more restaurants are still open on our campus. Specifically, Common Grounds, Intermezzo, Subway Café at MI King Library, Einstein Bros. Bagels, K-Lair, Apothecary Café, and Kentucky Clinic Starbucks are still open and operating summer hours. Click on here to view a list of our on-campus restaurants’ summer hours of operation.
As part of the upcoming student center renovation and expansion project, the student center grounds and alumni gymnasium grounds (222 seats in total) closed permanently on Sunday, May 17, 2015.
Employees who currently park in the Student Center or Alumni Gymnasium lots are advised to park either in the nearby South Limestone (PS#5) garage or in the Colosseum lot, located behind the Joe Craft Center. Additional options in the North Campus area include the Taylor-Dickey Lot and the Scott Street Lot. A map of these locations can be found here: www.uky.edu/pts/parking-info_parking-maps.
In the short term, the options outlined above will provide sufficient capacity for those who previously parked in the Student Center and Alumni Gymnasium grounds, given the reduced population on campus during the summer months.
Construction of a new approximately 230-space parking lot at the northeast end of Scott Street is scheduled to begin this summer and will provide another option for employee permit holders at the end of the fall 2015 semester. .
In April, we announced that the UK is partnering with Barnes & Noble College to operate our campus bookshop from June 1, 2015.
During construction of the new student center from May 16, 2015 through early 2018, the university’s bookstore will be located in a temporary location behind the Joe Craft Center on Lexington Avenue.
You may have noticed that construction has already started on the blue basketball courts behind the Joe Craft Center. Although this is a very busy location, we have determined after careful consideration that this is the best space for the temporary UK bookstore. We will be contacting you soon regarding new on-campus recreation options for North Campus students, which we are in the process of finalizing.
This temporary bookshop will offer new and used rental books, e-books, second-hand and new textbooks, as well as a wide selection of British clothing and merchandise. The temporary UK bookshop on Lexington Avenue will also offer year-round book buyback and special order services.
We also know that the services of the British bookshop are in high demand during the first weeks of the autumn semester. Therefore, to better serve our students in the fall, the bookstore will offer three options for students to receive their textbooks:
First, we have implemented a free UPS delivery service, which we encourage students to use as their primary option for pre-orders. More details on the delivery service will be available over the coming summer months.
Students can also choose between two pick-up locations: the temporary bookstore on Lexington Avenue and a tent near “90”, located on Hilltop Avenue. This tent on Hilltop Avenue will serve as a satellite store for move-in week and the first week of classes. It will include British clothing, residence supplies and school supplies.
These changes will, of course, cause temporary pain; but they are necessary to keep our momentum going. Thank you for your commitment to creating an environment conducive to student success and working together to move the University forward.