Campus News

UK Board Approves New Student Housing; Opera Gift

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 12, 2010)
-- The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees today approved the construction of new student housing that could be open as early as the 2012 fall semester. The board also accepted a $500,000 pledge in support of UK Opera Theatre.

The $30 million residence hall project is expected to add between 350 and 400 new beds for students living on campus. Authorized by the 2010 Extraordinary Session of the Kentucky General Assembly, the new housing could open as early as August 2012.

“This project is very important to the overall mission of the University of Kentucky because it will increase our capacity for students to live on campus, which will in turn enrich students’ lives socially and academically,” said Ben Crutcher, associate vice president for Auxiliary Services.

The new housing construction is expected to provide as much as 98,000 square feet of living space. The facility will feature a suite design, with two bedrooms sharing a single bath. Several sites for the new housing project are under consideration, including sites with existing residence halls.

Currently, there are 5,128 undergraduate beds on campus. That number accommodates approximately 90 percent of the freshman class. The most recently built residence halls on the UK campus opened in August 2005, which added 684 additional undergraduate beds.

“Modern, adequate student housing plays a significant role in our recruitment and retention efforts. Consequently, the staff of the Division of Student Affairs is very excited at the prospect of this new student housing,” said Robert Mock, UK vice president for Student Affairs.

In other action, the board accepted a $500,000 pledge from Warren Rosenthal of Lexington. $200,000 of the pledge is for the Schmidt Vocal Arts Center renovation fund, and $300,000 will support the Opera Theatre program in the College of Fine Arts' School of Music.

Rosenthal, an alumnus of UK and frequent donor to the university, is chair of the Schmidt Vocal Arts Center Renovation Initiative, which is raising a minimum of $1.5 million in private funds to renovate uncompleted space in the center.