Home » UK’s 120-year-old Scovell Hall getting $70M renovation

UK’s 120-year-old Scovell Hall getting $70M renovation

After modernization it will be administrative center of Gatton College of Agriculture Food and Environment
The new Scovell Hall will encompass 92,000 square feet and serve as the administrative center for the UK Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment in 2026. Picture rendering provided by Flad Architects.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The University of Kentucky has initiated a $70 million project to renovate historic Scovell Hall on its central campus into the administrative center for the UK Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. The historic building will undergo a comprehensive rebuild, preserving its west and north-side entrances. Expected to be completed by 2026, the upgraded facility will encompass 92,000 s.f.

The renovation is funded by a $70 million investment from the university’s modernization fund pool, dedicated to preserving and enhancing the campus’s historical character. This project demonstrates UK’s dedication to honoring its legacy and adapting to the changing needs of its academic community.

Scovell Hall’s new atrium area will serve as a centralized hub for academics, learning and community. Picture rendering provided by Flad Architects.

“Establishing our presence at the heart of campus reflects the transdisciplinary nature of our college,” said Carmen Agouridis, Martin-Gatton CAFE senior associate dean. “This will help our students and faculty members collaborate more closely with other colleges on central campus, bolstering our ability to prepare students to become the innovative leaders that our state and world needs.”

Originally built in 1903, Scovell Hall was designed to meet the increasing demand for scientific expertise in bolstering education at agricultural colleges. Melville Amasa Scovell, a highly regarded and respected agent for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was appointed as the Experiment Station’s inaugural director. In 1910, he assumed the role of the college’s dean.

Located at the intersection of South Limestone and Huguelet Drive, the renovated Scovell Hall will house:

  • The Department of Dietetics and Human Health
  • The Department of Community and Leadership Development
  • The School of Human and Environment Sciences
  • A 4,000 s.f. state-of-the-art teaching kitchen
  • The Lemon Tree restaurant
  • Seven state-of-the-art classrooms and student lounge/study spaces

The centerpiece will be a cutting-edge, 4,000-s.f. teaching kitchen, serving as a new home for the Lemon Tree restaurant.

“This teaching kitchen embodies the college’s commitment to hands-on learning and the advancement of tomorrow’s healthcare leaders,” said Agouridis. “With a focus on utilizing food as health, students will engage in immersive experiences aimed at improving lives and fostering a deeper understanding of the vital connection between nutrition and health.”

Scovell Hall was originally constructed in 1903, named after Melville Amasa Scovell who was the first director of the Experiment Station from 1885-1911 and the college’s dean in 1910.

The building, designed by JRA Architects and FLAD Architects, will combine contemporary and classical architectural design elements. When the building was first built in 1903 Scovell wrote: “Its design is colonial, the foundation being of Bedford stone, laid in ashler, and the superstructure of Columbus gray brick. A beautiful four-columned portico extends over the front entrance, giving the building the design of classic architecture.”

In addition to the Scovell Hall project, the college recently celebrated the groundbreaking of the Martin-Gatton Agricultural Sciences building. This facility will serve as the primary hub for teaching and student support, housing innovative programs made possible by the generous support of The Bill Gatton Foundation.

You can learn more about these projects at future.ca.uky.edu.

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