Capilouto announces dorm plan

By Rachel Aretakis

President Eli Capilouto announced Tuesday the framework for a $30 million, multi-year campus building and renewal project.

The project includes an honors residence hall that is planned to open in 2013. It will be built on the sports field next to Haggin Hall.

“We’re taking the first steps,” Capilouto said at Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

Phase One of the project is to have 600 new beds by fall 2013, Capilouto said. The residence halls will include honors and innovative learning programs.

From fall 2013 to fall 2021, the university plans to open residence halls that will include up to 9,000 modern beds.

Currently, UK has 5,148 residence hall beds and just 684 are modern.

Capilouto also reported on other financial and facility planning.

The university wants to invest $400 to $500 million in academic, research and student support facilities. Planning also includes evaluating potential funding sources and additional self-financed projects to expand and improve the UK HealthCare and athletics infrastructure.

“We must and will be good partners with the state, with the city and neighborhoods around the campus and we will continue to include our stakeholders at UK on whose behalf we seek to undertake this process of rebuilding and renewal,” Capilouto said.

The Housing Request for Proposal is to be issued Wednesday, and it will identify private partners with financial strengths and experience, Capilouto said. The request for housing will solicit plans from private developers for building the residence halls.

The proposal comes just three weeks after the Board of Trustees retreat, where members discussed the urgent needs of rebuilding campus.

“We’re all about focusing on the students,” Capilouto said.

Capilouto said he hopes campus responds positively. He said it took many people to come together to create the project.

“In 10 years, students will be coming to the University of Kentucky not expecting to live in Blanding or Kirwan,” said Student Government President Micah Fielden.

Athletics committee

The proposal to Governing Regulation II, which establishes a University Athletics Committee within the Board, was unanimously approved Tuesday for its first reading.

The Board will do a second reading on the regulation in its December meeting, where a final vote will be taken.

In March 2011, Board Chair Britt Brockman appointed a special committee to review UK Athletics. On Oct. 20, the committee recommended that the Board create the new athletics committee.

The new committee’s responsibilities would include providing counsel to the president concerning athletics matters or activities and reviewing athletics’ annual budget, major expenditures and construction of facilities if the cost is expected to exceed $400,000.

The committee will consist of five trustee members and up to three non-voting community members, who will be appointed by Capilouto, said Terry Mobley, a trustee and the athletics subcommittee chair.

“It just kind of jumped out at us that there wasn’t an athletics committee as visible as others (committees),” Mobley said.

“There is very little, from a responsibility point of view, that they would be doing,” Mobley said about the current athletics board.

Other business

At the Board meeting, Capilouto also announced the creation of a “dynamic Honors Academy in fall 2012 which will serve as a magnet for the best and the brightest high school graduates in Kentucky and beyond.”

The Honors Academy will provide a special honors-enhanced curriculum and also guarantees honors students merit scholarships, Living Learning Community access, priority for best residence halls, opportunities for education abroad, to do research and more.

North Hall residence building was also renamed the “David P. Roselle Hall,” after UK’s ninth president, following the Board’s approval.

Roselle was the only past president (except for the immediate past president, Lee Todd) without a building named in his honor.

Earlier in the day at the finance committee meeting, a UK student group asked the Board to consider eliminating two coal-fired boilers that provide heat on campus.