UK Board Of Trustees Makes First Step Toward Privately-Managed Dorms

Feb 21, 2012

If the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees vote this afternoon is any indication, some UK students could be living in a residence hall developed and managed by a private company as early as 2013.

The board approved a plan to move ahead with the first step in what’s expected to be a massive $500 million dollar overhaul of its residence hall system by agreeing to partner with private company Education Realty Trust to build a 600-bed hall on Haggin Field.

"We're definitely getting more bang for a buck this way," says Angela Martin, vice president for financial operations at UK, who adds that the public/private partnership is one of the first of its kind for a large research institution in the country.

"I don't know how we would be able to do it otherwise, as far as trying to do it this quickly and trying to preserve the university's debt capacity so that we can handle some academic projects on campus as well," she says.

UK president Eli Capilouto says the plan will strengthen UK’s recruitment efforts and retention rates by offering 21st century accommodations. Martin says Tuesday’s vote now gives the board the momentum to move forward with similar projects as the university seeks to improve its overall undergraduate experience.