University of Kentucky hires Boston firm to develop master plan

lblackford@herald-leader.comAugust 23, 2012 

University of Kentucky officials have selected a Boston firm to help develop UK's next master plan for the growth of UK's campus and how it affects surrounding areas.

Sasaki Associates specializes in national and international community planning; they've worked on master plans for the University of Maine, Ohio State and Singapore University, among others.

Bob Wiseman, UK's vice president of facilities, said Sasaki responded to a request for proposals and then was chosen from three finalists. They will work with local architecture firm Ross Tarrant for a total contract of $340,000.

Wiseman said he expects that it will take about eight months to update the master plan, which was last updated in 2002. It will include campus and community planning for how to accommodate 9,000 new residence hall beds. One new dorm is under construction and five more are in the planning stages with a private development firm out of Memphis.

Sasaki will help assess the state of UK's campus and the surrounding neighborhoods. The company will hold a series of meetings with local neighborhoods, which have suffered from student crowding in the past decade because of a lack of on-campus housing.

Wiseman said he is in negotiations with urban planner Omar Blaik, who has worked with the administration of Mayor Jim Gray and who issued a report in May that urged all of Lexington's higher-education entities to work with the city in planning future growth.

Sasaki will be working with UK's University Neighborhood Advisory Council and the Town and Gown Commission, he said.

Linda Blackford: (859) 231-1359. Twitter: @lbblackford

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