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Kentucky Kernel

The Student News Site of University of Kentucky

Kentucky Kernel

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New CSF building to be completed in January

Construction takes place for the Christian Student Fellowship ‘campus hub’ on the corner of Columbia and Woodland Avenue on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023, in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Samuel Colmar | Staff

In a semester full of changes occurring on UK’s campus, construction to the new Christian Student Fellowship building carries on, but with a hopeful completion date of Jan. 11.

In passing, the new building changes can be seen almost daily with construction crews working around the clock at the new location on the corner of Columbia and Woodland Avenue to meet the deadline.

CSF is now in its 65th year of campus affiliation. With class sizes growing each year, so is CSF’s student population and their need for bigger spaces to accommodate their weekly programs.

CSF’s ministry lead and head pastor Brian Marshall along with the 40-person staff as a whole, has been welcoming these changes to their community with open arms.

CSF has been in its temporary building since 2020, which was erected behind the Lewis House, but planning for the new building has been going on since before their move to said location. 

Marshall said that the Lewis House will remain for engagements more related to academic-based theology and faith studies, while the new building will be the new home for the rest of CSF’s activities and group events.

The focus of the new building was to make it an intentionally designed space for all sorts of events of both the large and small variety, with areas including a full-size gym, different-sized worship spaces, an industrial kitchen and seating areas for groups of virtually any size. 

One important decision made was to make the staff office spaces front and center when walking into the front doors of the new buildings, which is to “give a welcoming atmosphere for anyone coming into the door so that they can see someone they recognize,” Marshall said.

Marshall added that over 100 student leaders currently have key access to the temporary building, so that way they and other people in the community can access the space whenever they need or want to. 

The building “belongs to the community,” and this ideology will transfer to the new building as well, with key fob access being set up throughout for easy access, Marshall said.

The new building also has two apartments to house six of the student leaders.

“The tentative hours for the building are 8:00 a.m.-12:00 a.m., but we would like it to be a place for people to feel that they can visit anytime,” Marshall added. 

He said that he has heard people refer to CSF as a place “where UK feels small” or “like home.”

They are representing this ideology in a physical way as well by adding bricks from the old CSF building to the new spaces, for a semblance of similarity and reminder of where CSF has grown from. 

“(I prefer) to see things in CSF’s spaces break from time to time rather than be in pristine condition, because that then means that things are being used and loved,” Marshall said.

Marshall said that he hopes a similar attitude will go for this new larger space so that anyone on campus can “belong before they believe.”

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