Home » UK project transforming student center, campus

UK project transforming student center, campus

New student center under construction

By Eric Monday
UK Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 18, 2015) — On Saturday, we officially closed the doors of our current student center, making way for the next phase of our campus transformation.

Our new Student Center, a $175 million facility to be completed in January 2018, will provide innovative, modern space for students to study, recreate, dine, collaborate and most importantly, build community. It will be an amazing facility—among the premiere student centers in the country.

Bowman_zpsfii4c4nfYou will see the fence around the construction zone go up the week of May 18.

Of course, a transformation of this magnitude requires us to make some temporary adjustments on campus, as part of our priority to continue serving our students, faculty, staff, patients, fans and visitors to the best of our ability. Last Thursday afternoon, we distributed an email to the UK family, outlining the different areas of our campus where these temporary adjustments will take place.

We will continue to communicate with the UK community as this process continues.

Moreover, for months we have had an experienced team working to develop a plan to temporarily relocate the vital services currently housed in the Student Center. Below is an update on the areas that will be impacted by this project. You can also view this map, which outlines the student center construction area and identifies each of the impacted areas.

UK Student Center

Student Center management offices, student organization space, and the Cat’s Den will be moved to Blazer Hall.  These groups will continue to offer full services. The Kaplan Test Prep facility will be located just off of South Limestone, on the grounds of the former Lexington Theological Seminary in Room 109 Bosworth Hall. The student-run radio station, WRFL, will be relocated to White Hall Classroom Building.

UK Dining/Retail

The Student Center is currently home to many of our UK dining and retail facilities. Starting June 1, a temporary retail facility, which our students have dubbed “Bowman’s Den,” will be home to the following services for the duration of the Student Center construction:

  • Dining Venues – Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks, Subway, Greens to Go and Panda Express
  • UK Dining Office
  • Plus Account Office
  • Wildcard ID Service
  • TicketMaster/Passport Office
  • ATMs
  • UK Federal Credit Union

Bowman’s Den is adjacent to the Singletary Center for the Arts.


This past spring we held a competition in which students were invited to create murals for the temporary facility. In the fall, the UK community will see the results of this competition: five large-scale murals, which will be installed within Bowman’s Den.

And don’t worry, until June 1, there are still many other dining locations open on our campus.  Specifically, Common Grounds, Intermezzo, Subway Café in M.I. King Library, Einstein Bros. Bagels, K-Lair, Apothecary Café, and Kentucky Clinic Starbucks are still open for business and operating on summer schedules. Click here to see a list of summer hours of operation for our campus dining locations.


As part of the upcoming Student Center renovation and expansion project, the Student Center Lot and the Alumni Gym Lot (222 total spaces) permanently closed on Sunday, May 17, 2015.

Employees who currently park in the Student Center or Alumni Gym Lots are advised to park in either the nearby South Limestone Garage (PS #5) or the Coliseum Lot, located behind the Joe Craft Center. Additional options in the North Campus area include the Taylor-Dickey Lot and Scott Street Lot. A map of these locations can be found here: www.uky.edu/pts/parking-info_parking-maps.

In the near term, the options outlined above will provide sufficient capacity for those who had previously parked in the Student Center and Alumni Gym Lots, given the reduced campus population during the summer months.

Construction on a new ~230 space parking lot at the northeast end of Scott Street is scheduled to begin this summer, and will provide another option for employee permit holders upon completion in the Fall 2015 semester.

UK Bookstore

In April, we announced that UK is partnering with Barnes & Noble College to operate our campus bookstore beginning on June 1, 2015.

During the new Student Center construction from May 16, 2015 until early 2018, the university’s bookstore will be located in a temporary location located behind the Joe Craft Center, on Lexington Avenue.

You may have noticed that construction has already begun on the blue basketball courts behind the Joe Craft Center. Though this is a high traffic venue, we determined, after careful consideration, that this is the best space for the temporary UK Bookstore. We will be back in touch soon about new campus recreation options for north campus students, which we are currently finalizing.

This temporary bookstore location will offer new and used rental books, digital books, used textbooks and new textbooks, as well as a wide selection of UK clothing and merchandise. The temporary UK Bookstore on Lexington Avenue will also offer year-round book buy-back and special order services.

We also know that the UK Bookstore’s services are in high demand during the first few weeks of the fall semester. Therefore, to best serve our students in the fall, the bookstore will provide three options for students to receive their textbooks:

First, we have arranged for a free UPS delivery service, which we encourage students to use as the main option for pre-orders. More details about the delivery service will be available over the coming summer months.

Students can also choose between two pick-up locations: the temporary bookstore on Lexington Avenue and a tent near “the 90,” located on Hilltop Avenue. This tent on Hilltop Avenue will serve as a satellite store for move-in week and the first week of classes. It will feature UK clothing, residence hall supplies and school supplies.

These changes will, of course, cause some temporary pain; but they are necessary to build upon our momentum. Thank you for your commitment to creating an environment to support student success and for helping to move the University forward together.