New Central prepares to open its doors to 600 students

Construction of UK's new residence hall, New Central, is well under way in Lexington, Ky, on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013. New Central is expected to be open to students in the fall of 2013. Photo by Adam Pennavaria | Staff

By Nini Edwards

While Haggin Field is becoming a distant memory for students, a new dorm is quickly becoming a reality.

Phase I of UK’s New Housing Program is being built where Haggin Field once resided, on the corner of University Drive and Hilltop Avenue.

Two buildings are being built, each four stories with study rooms on every floor.

The rooms will be suites with two students to a room.

A desk will be provided for each student according to Housing Project Implementation Director Penny Cox.

Between two neighboring dorm rooms, four students will share one bathroom.

Two sinks are provided in each separate dorm for individual students along with extra electrical outlets.

“It is going to be a mix between traditional and modern,” Cox said.

The new dormitory, planning to open Fall 2013, is a $25.8 million project and will provide beds for 600 honors students.

“There are no slowdowns,” Cox said. “We are right on schedule.”

Like all the other residence halls, there will be security where the students have to have an access card to enter the building.

Students are applying now for the honors program, but will not be chosen until this summer.

“Freshman have first priority (to the rooms),” Cox said. “There are 200-300 honors students and there are 600 beds.”

Students are optimistic about the future dorm.

“I think it is a good idea,” freshman Alicia Miller said. “It will encourage students to do better because they are going to want to get
better grades to live in the nice dormitory.”

High school senior, Sam Newton, is one of the many upcoming freshmen applying for the honors program.

“I believe it will bring a breath of fresh air to campus. Those not in it will be envious of those who are,” Newton said in an email to the Kernel. “Also, new buildings help UK show how up to date it is.”

“What I have heard about the technology being used with the living and learning community seems pretty awesome.”

In addition to the new building and modern technology, Cox said an important part of the new building is the opportunities to build communities.

“The best part is going to be the student interaction spaces and privacy of the bedrooms,” she said.