BY RACHEL MINOGUE
LEXINGTON, Ky. After months of meetings and planning the renovation for the University of Kentucky Student Center, the date is set for construction and expansion to begin.
Set to be done in January 2018, the Student Center is undergoing a complete renovation, which will feature a new street view as well as a recreation center, new food options and a 35,000-square-foot bookstore, according to the Student Center renovations website.
The current Student Center was built in three phases, according to Dave Adams, a Jostin Construction project manager, with the first being in 1938, followed by additions in 1963 and 1982.
“They’re keeping the 1938 part because there are some historical aspects they are trying to preserve,” said Adams, “but the rest will be all brand new state of the art buildings.”
The current renovations began in 2014 with the planning phase and transitioned into the schematic design phase, which consisted of establishing concept diagrams, floor plans and elevations that were adjusted in the planning phase, according to the timeline on the Student Center renovations website.
The timeline shows that the transition into the design development phase happened in October 2014 and consisted of adding more detail to the schematic design documents, including architectural development and coordination with materials, equipment and furniture.
In February 2015, the construction documents phase began which was when highly detailed drawings and specifications were created that are necessary for the construction to begin.
The current phase of tearing down the old buildings is going to last for seven months, according to Michael Turley, a Jostin Construction worker who was on site for the first time Wednesday. The demolition phase, which will leave the Great Hall area and the Frank Harris Ballroom section of the Student Center intact, followed by the building of the new Student Center, which will last at least another two years.
The Student Center has been home to the WRFL-FM student-run radio station, the UK bookstore, several dining options and the Late Night Film Series, which are all in the process of relocating for the duration of the renovations.
Bowman’s Den, located behind the Singletary Center, opened June 4, will be a temporary retail zone and will house Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Subway, Panda Express and Greens to Go, as well as financial offices.
The UK bookstore has moved behind Memorial Coliseum in a temporary building, WRFL has relocated to White Hall Classroom building and the location for the Late Night Film Series is still being determined, but plans to continue.
After 30 years without renovating, the time has come to modernize the Student Center to welcome and fulfill the needs of past, present and future students of the University of Kentucky.