Reynolds Building no longer to house art school

By Morgan Eads | News Editor

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The Reynolds Building will no longer house the School of Art and Visual Studies, the UK Board of Trustees announced Tuesday. The board gave the go-ahead for a plan to improve buildings in the College of Fine Arts.

The project involves a plan to relocate the art school to a “modern renovated facility,” board Chair Britt Brockman said.

A budgeted $15 million will be used to renovate the University Lofts, where the school will be moved, Brockman said.

This is $7 million dollars more than what was originally budgeted for the project in 2011, Brockman said.

The cost went up after it was discovered that the University Lofts would require more work than originally anticipated, Brockman said.

Needed updates for electricity and plumbing were included in the extra costs, Brockman said.

No timeline for the project was released. Also at the meeting, UK President Eli Capilouto gave a presentation highlighting statistics from the past year and the beginning of this school year.

This year, a record 4,702 freshman entered the university. Of those, 555 African Americans, 200 Hispanics and 95 international students enrolled.

A plan was also announced to move the Early Childhood Laboratory from the basement of Erikson Hall to the facilities of the Lexington Theological Seminary on South Limestone Street, Brockman said.

The move of the Early Childhood Laboratory will be a $3 million project.

Also, the board accepted two large donations at the meeting.

The Dr. E. Vernon Smith and Eloise C. Smith Alzheimer’s Research Endowed Chair Fund was given $4.2 million from the estate of E. Vernon Smith, who passed away in October 2011, according to a news release.

The Barnstable Brown Foundation of Louisville was given an award of $600,000 to support the Barnstable Brown Kentucky Diabetes and Obesity Center at UK, according to a news release.

The board also discussed Capilouto’s 2012 evaluations and the board gave their own evaluation for the year.

The feedback was resoundingly positive, and Capilouto said he would take everything into account and try to improve.

“I take feedback seriously. I’m my own biggest critic,” Capilouto said.