MEMPHIS, TN - EdR, one of the nation’s largest developers, owners and managers of collegiate housing, broke ground this morning on New Central Residence Hall, the first building in a multi-phase project aimed at revitalizing University of Kentucky (UK) on-campus housing.
Joining EdR today at the groundbreaking celebration were University of Kentucky President Dr. Eli Capilouto and other dignitaries, partners and UK officials.
This housing renaissance is one aspect of fulfilling “The Kentucky Promise,” President Capilouto’s initiative to regenerate the campus, enhance undergraduate education, offer more opportunities to young Kentuckians through scholarships and continue a nearly 150-year legacy of education, research and service to the commonwealth.
"Today, we are breaking ground on more than a building, we're breaking ground on a brighter future for our students, faculty, and staff," said President Eli Capilouto. "Our public/private partnership with EdR is an innovative approach to managing within the new normal and moving forward in pursuit of our Kentucky Promise."
"Upon completion, the new residence hall will offer the cutting-edge technology and amenities students expect of a modern Flagship research University and will provide the living/learning experience required in order for our graduates to lead lives of leadership, meaning, and purpose," Capilouto said.
"Additionally, this facility, and our campus-wide revitalization effort over the next several years, will yield countless construction jobs bolstering local industry and business and benefitting the state economy."
“With this groundbreaking, the University of Kentucky is taking the first step toward rebuilding and renewing the core of its campus,” said Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson. “This presents greater opportunities for its students living in this new high-tech residence hall to grow and prosper and become the leaders of tomorrow.”
This first building, which EdR will own under a long-term ground-lease agreement signed prior to today’s groundbreaking, is being constructed near the center of campus on Haggin Field. New Central Residence Hall will be a 601-bed living-learning community with classrooms and meeting space. The two-building, four-story community will be available for occupancy in fall 2013.
This $25.8 million project is being financed through EdR’s On-Campus Equity Plan — the ONE PlanSM — which uses the company’s equity and financial stability to fund projects on university-owned land. This gives the university access to a single, trusted partner and helps create substantial long-term financial benefits for UK and EdR.
“We are more excited with every step we take forward in our partnership with the University of Kentucky,” said Randy Churchey, EdR president and chief executive officer. “EdR is proud to support the university in such an innovative and important endeavor.”
Sherman Carter Barnhart and Messer Construction Co., both of Lexington, Ky., were selected as the architect of record and general contractor, respectively, for this first phase of the project.
UK and EdR are currently in discussions regarding Phase II. In that phase, EdR will assume management responsibility for the university’s 6,000-bed housing portfolio. Phase II also envisions the systematic demolition and replacement of the majority of current on-campus housing as well as its expansion to approximately 9,000 beds over the next five to seven years.
In support of Phase II, the Kentucky legislature recently authorized the next $175 million for 2014 and 2015 deliverables in this public-private partnership which will transform living and learning space to maximize the talent and capacity of UK and its students. This amount is in addition to the previously approved $52 million.
“This authorization is a clear indication of the university’s intent to aggressively pursue this major revitalization of its student housing,” said Tom Trubiana, EdR’s executive vice president and chief investment officer.
EdR (NYSE:EDR) is one of America's largest owners, developers and managers of collegiate housing. A self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust, EdR owns or manages 60 communities in 23 states with more than 34,100 beds within more than 11,100 units.