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[Lexington] University of Kentucky developments

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Well, to kickstart this thread, let me begin with a depressing and aggrivating article on the Reynolds Building. I had classes in here when I was majored in Art Studio, and saw how bad the conditions were firsthand. It was pathetic. But of course, they spend $30 million for a Basketball Practice Facility (the sports program do not generate a profit for the university), up raises for Lee Todd, devote massive amounts of funding to research and etc. while the Fine Arts program works in buildings that are, realistically, condemnable. Meanwhile, the Law School will move from a building that was constructed in the early 1960s to a new structure by 2009 while the Fine Arts department uses a building that was built in 1917 and has not seen renovations since... 1963!

Dangerous art dungeon

Key --

1. UK's main goal is to become a Top 20 public university focusing on technology and business, not art.

2. The Reynolds Building has no central cooling system. Temperatures can exceed 100F in the summer.

3. Most of the windows are inoperable. More than 80 need to be replaced.

4. There is no uniform ventilation system. Dust from projects can cause allergic reactions. Some art work has been limited to reduce the exposure to others from dangerous chemical fumes (how safe!).

5. There are many fire hazards, ranging from work/frayed extension and appliance cords, to overloaded circuits, and extension cords used as permanent wiring.

6. Most of the building is inaccessible to people with disabilities. There is a freight elevator, but it only accesses a very small portion of the building.

7. There is asbestos and lead-based paints everywhere.

8. The staircases are long, straight runs with no landings.

8a. In 1989, a staircase broke away from its support and dropped 15 feet. Five students were injured.

9. The sanitary and domestic water system needs replacing. The sprinkler systems need to be replaced as well (they are over 50+ years old).

10. The Art program is not accredited because of the building. It houses the photography, printmaking, drawing, painting, ceramics, woodworking, sculpting programs along with exhibition space.

11. The R.J. Reynolds Co. built the warehouse in 1917 on the site of the area's first burley sale.

11a. In the 1950s, UK purchased the 144,000 sq. ft. Building #1 for $100 and moved its architecture and fine arts program in. It soon bought the other warehouses.

11b. In 1965, an article in the H-L called the building "dungeon-like". UK considered using all of the Reynolds buildings they purchased for storage.

12. It has not undergone a major renovation since 1963 -- when it became an art building. It has made "major improvements and repairs" in the last 10 years -- to satisfy the most basic requirements. 60% of the wiring has been replaced, and $100,000 will be spent in 2007 to replace more wiring.

12a. The rear entrance was "redone" with a walkway (to an abandoned railroad grade) with lighting (a few dim lights) and some landscaping (a few bushes).

12b. In 2004, new heating and air-conditioning systems were installed in the printmaking and photography work areas at a cost of $300,000.

13. This isn't enough to solve all the problems -- from the 100F temperatures to the ancient plumbing that floods the basement.

14. In a facility assessment released by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education last week, the Reynolds Building was one of 17 buildings on campus that could be considered for demolition. A major gut-rehab could save it.

14a. UK has no plans to renovate it, however. It would cost $30-$75 million.

14b. Bob Wiseman, UK's vice president for facilities management, stated, "In terms of major facility improvements, I don't see those on the near-term horizon unless some creative approach develops on financing."

15. One leg of the Newtown Pike Extension will end near the Reynolds Building. With its broken windows and general abandoned condition, it is an eyesore for UK.

16. ~300 undergraduates currently use the buildings for classroom and studio space. By 2015, this could increase to 400.

The Reynolds Building is "a disaster waiting to happen, with significant attendant liability concerns, and it should be UK's highest priority to correct the hazardous conditions and numerous code violations present."

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Biological Pharmaceutical Complex Building

The Biological Pharmaceutical Complex (BPCB) is a five-story building that will be constructed along South Limestone and Leader Avenue.


Key --

1. The College of Pharmacy will relocated from Rose Street. Consolidation of faculty will occur from _ten_ existing structures.

2. The cost is expected to be $79.9 million.

3. Construction begins in May and will be finished by December 2009.

4. It will be the largest academic building in Kentucky at 280,000 sq. ft. and one of the largest in the nation.

5. It will feature two floors of academic space and three floors (in addition to a full basement) of research laboratories. It will also have a mechanical penthouse.

Ground was broken on April 13.

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