UK Breaks Ground For Gatton College Expansion
Dirt was turned today on campus as UK officials celebrated the groundbreaking for an expanded and modernized Gatton College of Business and Economics.
The $65 M project is the latest phase of the school’s capital improvement plan which involves public private partnerships instead of state tax dollars.
UK President Eli Capilouto says, given the expanding needs of the university, and the prolonged decline in state support, thinking outside the box has been necessary in order to move the campus forward.
"At every step we had to confront a truth, that if we were going to meet the needs of our students, faculty, staff, and the state we serve, we had to collaborate to find the solution. Which brings us to today; a concrete example of the power of partnership," Capilouto said.
Such public / private partnerships would not have been possible were it not for the passage of House Bill 7 which Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed into law earlier this year. The measure authorized $363.3 million in agency bonds by Kentucky’s public universities for campus improvements supported by university revenues.
"I was thrilled to sign this bill because we all came together...Republicans and Democrats, the public sector, the private sector, our university presidents and worked together because we knew this was a good cause," Beshear said at Friday's ceremony.
UK officials say they have already managed to raise $45 M in private donations for the project.
When completed in 2016 the larger, more modern, Gatton College will include living and learning areas, a 500 seat auditorium, 20 new classrooms, and an outdoor garden plaza.