UK board approves campus revitalization projects

UK board approves campus revitalization projects

Accepts donations totaling $16.4 million

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 20, 2013) University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto on Tuesday asked the Board of Trustees to formally approve moving forward with design and construction of three projects ― all paid for with university resources ― that will accelerate efforts to revitalize the campus.

bbnunited“We are proving each day our commitment to earning our way forward on behalf of the students, faculty and staff who make this university the commonwealth’s indispensable institution,” Capilouto said.

Specifically, Capilouto asked trustees to offer formal approval for three building projects supported and approved by Gov. Steve Beshear and the General Assembly. The projects include:

  • ♦ A $65 million renovation and expansion of the Gatton College of Business and Economics. The $65 million project will be initially funded with $25 million in gifts and $40 million in agency bonds, approved by the legislature.
  • ♦ The $100 million construction of a Science and Academic Building. The 263,000 square foot building will be funded by agency bonds and is the result of a partnership with athletics unlike any other in the country. UK Athletics will fund 65 percent of the building’s debt service ― or, in total, about $65 million.
  • ♦ A $110 million renovation of Commonwealth Stadium and the Nutter Training and Recruiting Center. The project ― which will add suites and club seating, while improving the fan experience throughout the stadium ― will be paid for by agency bonds and funded through the construction of suites. UK already has a waiting list for suites.

More detail about the projects can be read

The projects are part of UK’s overall capital improvement plan (House Bill 7) recently approved by the Kentucky General Assembly and signed into law. No state tax dollars will be used in any of the UK construction projects.

“These projects … send an important signal that the Board of Trustees is focused squarely on implementing the vision we have set forth, along with President Capilouto, to focus on our students and our mission as a land-grant, research institution,” said Britt Brockman, chairman of the UK Board of Trustees.

The partnership with athletics, Capilouto said, is even more remarkable in the context of how truly self-sustaining Kentucky’s program is compared to the vast majority of others throughout the country.

A recent detailed study of revenues and expenses of all Division I athletics programs by USA Today reports that the subsidy UK athletics receives from the institution is only 1 percent ― one of the five lowest in the country, including institutions such as Michigan, Iowa and Louisiana State University. The full report can be read here.

In UK’s case, moreover, the “subsidy” described is not general funds from the institution, but student fees to help defray the cost of tickets that students receive. UK’s student fees are among the lowest in the country and the lowest in Kentucky.

In addition to support of the new Science and Academic Building, UK Athletics contributes millions of dollars each year to academic scholarships and programming. In fact, in total, UK Athletics spends more than 25 percent of its revenues back on campus for university needs.

Board accepts gifts totaling $16.4 million

The board of trustees also accepted gifts and pledges totaling $16.4 million, including nearly $15 million from donors contributing toward the $65 million expansion and renovation of the Gatton College of Business and Economics building.

The college recently celebrated the milestone of surpassing the halfway point in its fundraising efforts for the project as it announced the public phase of the ‘Gatton United’ campaign. In all, some $34 million in private funds has been donated or pledged to date.

The board accepted pledges of $5 million each from Don L. Jacobs, Sr. of Lexington, Ky. and Naples, Fla., and Howard L. Lewis of Solon, Ohio. Jacobs is a retired businessman who has lived and worked in Lexington for more than 40 years. Lewis is chairman, CEO and founder of Family Heritage Life Insurance Company of America. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Kentucky in 1970 and is a member of the Gatton College Hall of Fame.

The board also accepted a pledge of $4 million from the William E. Seale Family Foundation of Annapolis, Md., to support the Gatton College campaign. Seale, who earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1963, his master’s in agricultural economics in 1969, and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics in 1975 from UK, created the William E. Seale Family Foundation in 2006 to support higher education.

In addition, the board accepted a gift of $500,000 from the Haymaker Foundation, Inc. of Lexington, as well as a pledge of $400,000 from Geoffrey H. Rosenberger of Pittsford, N.Y., to support the Gatton campaign. Tim Haymaker is a Lexington businessman who has been a longtime supporter of the university. Rosenberger, who earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s in business administration in 1976 from UK, has now committed a total of $650,000 toward this project.

The Gatton expansion and renovation will allow for enrollment growth of more than 50 percent and faculty/staff growth to support the additional students, as well as incorporating state-of-the-art technology throughout the building.

The design phase of the Gatton expansion and renovation project is under way with construction expected to begin later this year.  The timetable calls for completion of the project by the fall of 2015 or early in 2016.

The board also accepted a gift of $500,000 to the UK HealthCare Patient Care Facility Fund and a pledge of $1 million to the Markey Cancer Center, both from Jacobs.

The $500,000 gift to the UK HealthCare Patient Care Facility Fund will be used for the enhancement of the Don and Cathy Jacobs Health Education Center and the new hospital pavilion. The $1 million pledge to the Markey Cancer Center will support faculty recruitment, pilot grant funding and shared resources facility support.