jay blanton

UK Board Formally Approves Campus Revitalization

Published: Mar 19, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2013) ― University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto Tuesday asked the Board of Trustees to formally approve moving forward with design and construction of three projects ― all paid for with university resources ― that will accelerate efforts to revitalize the campus.


"We are proving each day our commitment to earning our way forward on behalf of the students, faculty and staff who make this university the Commonwealth's indispensable institution," Capilouto said. "All of this critical investment is happening because of the support of generous donors, our own commitment to greater efficiency, and an athletics program devoted to an unprecedented partnership with the academic core of the campus."


Specifically, Capilouto asked trustees to offer formal approval for three building projects overwhelmingly supported and approved by Gov. Steve Beshear and the General Assembly. The projects include:

  • A $65 million renovation and expansion of the Gatton College of Business and Economics. The $65 million project will be initially funded with $25 million in gifts and $40 million in agency bonds, approved by the legislature.
  • The $100 million construction of a Science and Academic Building. The 263,000 square foot building will be funded by agency bonds and is the result of a partnership with athletics unlike any other in the country. UK Athletics will fund 65 percent of the building's debt service ― or, in total, about $65 million.
  • A $110 million renovation of Commonwealth Stadium and the Nutter Training and Recruiting Center. The project ― which will add suites and club seating, while improving the fan experience throughout the stadium ― will be paid for by agency bonds and funded through the construction of suites. UK already has a waiting list for suites.


More detail about the projects can be read www.bbnunited.com.


UK Board of Trustees Chairman Britt Brockman said moving forward with the projects is "a remarkable example of the partnership that exists among the university and its athletics program, legislators and the governor ― all of whom are focused on taking an innovative, but sound, approach to revitalizing our campus and doing something profoundly important that creates jobs and improves the Commonwealth."


"These projects also send an important signal," Brockman said, "that the Board of Trustees is focused squarely on implementing the vision we have set forth, along with President Capilouto, to focus on our students and our mission as a land-grant, research institution. We are Kentucky's best hope for progress, and finding ways to invest in that hope is a sound investment for the state and its future."


The partnership with athletics, Capilouto said, is even more remarkable in the context of how truly self-sustaining Kentucky's program is compared to the vast majority of others throughout the country.


A recent detailed study of revenues and expenses of all Division I athletics programs by USA Today reports that the subsidy UK athletics receives from the institution is only 1 percent ― one of the five lowest in the country, including institutions such as Michigan, Iowa and Louisiana State University. The full report can be read at  



In UK's case, moreover, the "subsidy" described is not general funds from the institution, but student fees to help defray the cost of tickets that students receive. UK's student fees are among the lowest in the country and the lowest in Kentucky.


In addition to support of the new Science and Academic Building, UK Athletics contributes millions of dollars each year to academic scholarships and programming. In fact, in total, UK Athletics spends more than 25 percent of its revenues back on campus for university needs.


"With a truly remarkable partnership with athletics as a foundation, we are implementing dramatic change on our campus. In fact, with these moves, we are continuing with a campus transformation unlike any in public higher education today," Capilouto said. "But it is what our students, their families and our faculty and staff need. And it is what our Commonwealth deserves, if we are to help create a path toward a brighter future."




MEDIA CONTACT:  Jay Blanton, jay.blanton@uky.edu, (859) 257-6605


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