When University of Kentucky students get to campus later this month, many of them will move into new digs: five new residence halls with the latest in required student luxuries, including double Tempur-pedic mattresses in private bedrooms, original paintings by Kentucky artists, and laundry equipment that will send them a text when their clothes are dry.
The dorms — Woodland Glen I and II, Haggin Hall, and Champions Court I and II — are an $84 million piece of the ambitious housing plan to put 9,000 modern beds on campus. The deal is part of a public-private partnership with the Memphis-based Education Realty Trust, which puts up all the equity for construction and operates the dorms on a long-term lease.
Last year, UK opened Central I and II near the W.T. Young Library. Woodland Glen I and II will house 818 students, the two Central Court halls will hold 1,167, and Haggin will house 396.
Most living spaces are two-bedroom suites, in which two students have separate bedrooms but share a kitchen/living space and a bathroom.
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The dorms also feature classrooms and study spaces for collaborative work. Many of the students will be grouped together by similar interests in living-learning communities for topics including agriculture, environment, leadership and ROTC.
The dorm construction is scheduled to be finished by 2018, at a cost of between $500 million and $600 million, said Penny Cox, director of housing project implementation.
She said that EDR worked hard to save several of the big older trees in the Woodland Glen complex, which is to eventually be made up of five dorms that share green space.
"This will really become a living learning village," Cox said.
As for the laundry, a phone app tells students if there are empty washing machines and dryers, and students can pay with a credit card or a phone and go back up to their rooms. The then get a text when the laundry is done.
UK classes start Aug. 27.