Campus News

UK Dedicates Don & Cathy Jacobs Science Building


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 20, 2016) — Today, members of the University of Kentucky community, the Board of Trustees, and public officials formally dedicated the new Don & Cathy Jacobs Science Building, commemorating an unprecedented partnership in higher education between the university, UK Athletics, and community donors.


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The 240,000 square-foot, $112 million facility, now considered the epicenter of the university’s scientific community, was made possible with funding of $65 million from UK Athletics and $10 million from The Don Jacobs Sr. Charitable Foundation.


“With each passing day, the University of Kentucky is a campus transformed. Nowhere is that transformation – and the profound sense of partnership – more evident than in the heart of our campus where new classrooms and learning-laboratories come to life. Today, we add another piece of that transformation with the Jacobs Science Building,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “A new sanctuary of learning for our institution, the Jacobs Science Building combines the best intentions of our commitment to Kentucky: A new century of hands-on, high-tech, multidisciplinary science learning and discovery, and the manifestation of the impact levied by a collegiate athletics program deeply committed to the academic fabric of a university and committed philanthropists investing in Kentucky’s next generation of scholars.”


Capilouto and UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart announced the collaboration to fund a new science building three years ago. As part of a series of strategic initiatives to improve the university, this partnership was unlike any other in higher education — a major, self-sustaining athletics program funding nearly two-thirds of a more than $100 million academic science building.


“Our commitment to the partnership we have with our university is at the forefront of our mission as a department, as is our commitment to enriching the lives of every UK student, both those who compete in varsity athletics and those who do not,” said Barnhart. “We are proud that this state-of-the-art building will stand as a symbol of that dedication and serve our students well for years to come.”


Named for the late Don Jacobs and his wife Cathy, the building opened in August on the corner of Rose Street and Huguelet Drive and is home to the largest active learning space on campus. It includes state-of-the-art laboratories, advanced lecture halls, technology enabled active learning (TEAL) classrooms, outdoor teaching spaces and interior green space. Every science student on campus, and the vast majority of all undergraduates, will take courses or have the opportunity to conduct research in the Jacobs Science Building.


“The new science building integrates teaching and research, makes science visible, and has sparked the joy of learning,” said Mark Lawrence Kornbluh, dean of the UK College of Arts & Sciences. “When we began this endeavor, we wanted a building that supported active learning and student engagement; a building that would be an intellectual home for UK students. We got all that we hoped for and more.”


The Jacobs Science Building, which was contracted by the Messer construction team, JRA Architects, and Payette, is part of a major campus transformation initiated in the last five years under the leadership of Capilouto and the Board of Trustees that includes classrooms, research space, residence halls, dining and athletics facilities. More than 90 percent of that transformation is being financed with university resources or private giving.


“This space, which we dedicate this morning, is a compelling symbol of what is now more than $2.1 billion in transformation that has changed the landscape of this campus,” said UK Board of Trustees Chair Britt Brockman. “It is also a testament to the power of partnership. Because of the leadership of Mitch Barnhart and Eli Capilouto, an unprecedented commitment to academic excellence by athletics has taken place here – a $65 million contribution toward this $112 million facility.”



UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, visit #uk4ky #seeblue



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