UK apartments force residents to move

By Judah Taylor | @KyKernel

jtaylor@kykernel.com

When UK first told residents of Cooperstown they had to vacate their apartments by June 7, many students and their families felt hard pressed to find accommodations in time.

“When we first got email, we were not very comfortable,” said Yuanlin Qi, a visiting scholar from China who is researching alcohol toxins in mice at UK.

With the help of a colleague who spoke better English, Qi explained many of his friends have moved out of their apartments already instead of waiting around until the June deadline.

Qi is not alone in his struggles to speak English or in coping with the imminent zero hour posed by UK housing. Many visiting scholars sent their cats and personal items back home to China because they didn’t know where they would be living after the June deadline, one resident said.

“It was very uncomfortable,”Qi said. “We did not know what we would do if we could not stay on campus.”

The Qi family will be staying in Shawneetown next year — along with every student with families — alleviating their fears of having to find a landlord who will let them sign a lease from June to December, when they leave for China.

It also means the Qi’s concern of having to put their daughter in a new school right before moving again will be allayed.

“Shawneetown and Cooperstown children all go to the same school, so we don’t need to change (our daughter’s) school,” Qi said. “This is very good for us.”

But not all tenants of Cooperstown can move across campus. The amount of vacated beds left by students moving out won’t equal the hundreds being removed from campus this summer. To balance this out, UK has rented out 200 beds at the University Trails apartment complex, off Red Mile Road, that should harbor every remaining displaced student.

“We should be able to accommodate every student who is being asked to relocated,” UK spokesman Jay Blanton said.

At $497 a month per student, the apartments are on a UK bus route that runs to various locations around campus and town, including grocery stores and the mall. Having full kitchens and laundry appliances, the apartments at University Trails are just as good as apartments in Cooperstown.

But with a pool, a gym, computer labs and recreational rooms, they’re even better. “These apartments are both convenient and of high quality,” he said.“They are more modern, have more amenities … and have better pricing.”

“Students deserve better than what they currently have,” Blanton said.

UK will begin the demolition of the Cooperstown complex on June 30, subject to board approval in May.

All students relocating will receive a check for $250 for moving expenses, and those moving into University Trails will be compensated for their first month’s rent.