BY ELIZABETH GRAVES
Lexington, Ky. As the new student center begins construction, students and staff prepare and are excited for what is to come. But that vision won’t be fully realized until 2018.
John Herbst, Executive Director of the Student Center said. “I think we are entering one of the most exciting times in UK history.”
The renovations on the student center are slowly starting to begin. Preparation for the renovation has been going on for months, and since spring classes are now out of session the real work can begin.
Dr. Clark Graves, adjunct professor and staff member said, “Upgrading the student center was necessary and it wasn’t meeting the needs for the growing campus population.”
The student center is a well-known spot on campus for students, staff, faculty and visitors to enjoy and now it’s about to get a whole lot better.
Freshman student Catie Taylor said, “The student center just had a lot of stuff from food to bookstore and different things. It was kind of the center of student life, especially for people in between classes and North Campus people.”
The new student center has been a long time coming and it will be welcomed with open arms when it is finally done. Amanda Stark, junior and a barista at Starbucks in the student center said, “I’m really glad we are getting a new student center! The old one was getting pretty bad! We really needed more space and the new student center is going to be amazing!”
“Being without a student center will be challenging, however the end result will be totally worth it,” said Herbst.
With the construction of the current student center beginning they have moved everything that was inside to other locations across campus. These moves include a new temporary student center called “Bowman’s Den,” named after the Wildcat statue, Bowman, that stands nearby.
Stark said, “The new makeshift one they built may be a little small but they put all brand new machines and everything in it! It looks so nice and it looks brand new!”
There is though some speculation about the temporary location for food services. Graves said, “During the construction it is going to put a strain on staff and students to accommodate the needs. The present student center had difficulty with having enough food services so will the temporary be able to accommodate the needs with the addition of the new on campus housing is a question that needs to be asked.”
Taylor was not a fan of the bookstore relocating behind Memorial Coliseum. She said, “The whole bookstore thing being on those old basketball courts seems strange and kind of inconvenient.”
Along with the remodeling of the student center, the university is adding more dorms so therefore more food options on other parts of campus, like The 90, a food complex currently under construction on south campus at the “90-degree angle” of Woodland Ave. near William T. Young Library.
Taylor said, “I’m all about the remodeling/new things plus The 90 will be open so I think that will kind of take the spot of it for next year.”
The main Student Center renovations will begin at the beginning of June and will run until January of 2018, which is when it is expected to be complete.