Jewell Hall to bid farewell

By Will Wright | Assistant News Editor

wwright@kykernel.com

Residents of Jewell Hall were told they will have to move out of the residence hall by Jan. 14 at a meeting Wednesday night.

The UK Board of Trustees will vote in January to continue with Phase III of the Housing Revitalization project, which will include the demolition of Jewell Hall.

Residents will be given a list Friday of places they can move to. They will have the option to stay with their current roommate, but the spots will be filled on a first-come-first-serve basis.

There are 77 residents of the soon-to-be-vacant dorm. More than 77 spots are available in dorms of the same price, said Jewell Hall resident adviser Tyler Waddles.

“The only reason they would have to pay more is if they want to,” said Waddles, a history senior. “(Being forced to pay more) would be unfair … but that’s not the case.”

Those being forced to move out are also guaranteed their first or second choice in housing for fall 2014, said UK spokesman Jay Blanton.

“I think that definitely makes up for it,” said Nick Morris, Jewell Hall resident and engineering freshman. “I don’t mind. I never really liked (Jewell Hall) anyway.”

Waddles described the residents’ reaction as bittersweet.

“I’ll miss it, but I’ve lived in four buildings … so this doesn’t bother me. I’ve had a different experience in each building and they’ve all been positive,” Waddles said. “The move itself will be inconvenient, but I think in the long run it will be beneficial to see campus grow and then also be able to serve residents at the same capacity in a different building.”

Some residents were annoyed at the idea of moving in the middle of the year.

“It came as a shock because in the summer when I applied there was no notice,” said Zach Whitaker, a business management freshman and Jewell Hall resident. “Having to move while (living) here is kind of an inconvenience.”

Waddles thought residents were given sufficient notice before being forced out of the dorm.

“I think three months is ample opportunity to get their things in order,” he said. “This is probably the least abrasive and disruptive avenue they could go.”

Blanton said the university wanted the transition to be smooth.

“We wanted to make this as easy as possible,” he said.

Some residents see this as an opportunity to move to a better location.

“I don’t mind; the dorm is kind of old anyway. I’m actually kind of glad they’re getting rid of it sooner rather than later,” history junior Aaron Kinney said. “No one ever enjoys moving, but they give us our own options on where to go and that’s cool. And if I want to move off-campus, which I’m thinking about, it gives me a reason to break my housing contract.”