New Holmes, Boyd residence halls mesh comfortable living with improved learning

Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration Eric Monday cuts the lookalike cake with EdR CEO Randy Churchey, whose firm managed the projects.

Emily Cole

On Tuesday evening, UK Residence Life opened its doors to the public with an open house of Holmes and Boyd Halls, its newest renovations to north campus.

Both new buildings feature common areas, private rooms, and other amenities that cater to the residents who will be moving in this month.

The Creative Arts Living Learning Program and the LEXengaged Community will both be based out of the new Holmes Hall.

Special accommodations, including practice rooms and a dance studio, have been included in the new building in preparation for the fall semester.

“The LLPs, especially Creative Arts, have really utilized the space we have,” John Rowell, resident director of Holmes Hall, said. “There are also lots of areas for students to hang out and study outside of that as well.”

Rowell served in Resident Life at the Kirwan complex last academic year. When asked if he prefers this posh upgrade, he said that he has enjoyed working all around campus.

“A dorm is more than a building. It can be a community,” said graduate student Chris Wheeler, assistant director of Holmes Hall. “Home is not a place or an object—it’s the people around you. Some places are nicer objectively, but it’s all about perspective.”

Throughout the event, student resident advisors wandered the lobby offering tours upstairs for an inside look in to the new rooms.

“This is the optimum place to live. It’s close to everything and most importantly it has the new dance studio,” art education sophomore Savannah Gouzman said. “I’m going to learn what the policies are about the new dance studio because I want to be in there all the time.”

Gouzman is a Creative Arts peer mentor for the Living Learning Program as well as a Dance minor. Gouzman toured the dorm with her mother Vicky Guzman, who said she appreciated the improvements made to residence halls since she was in college.

“I think it’s beautiful to have facilities like these. We didn’t have this when I was in school,” Vicky Gouzman said. “I did fine in our little dorms but we weren’t as spoiled and used to having the dorms like this.”

Kevin McGuire, an architect with Messer Construction, said he was relieved that the building was completed on time.

“It seems like they came a long way in a hurry here at the end, but its going to be very nice for the students,” McGuire said. “I went to school down the street at Transylvania University and I actually managed the dorms when I was there but it wasn’t anything like this. These aren’t dorms, they’re apartments.”

McGuire said the construction fought against the weather to complete the project in time, but was happy with the end result and excited to see students move in.