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Provost gives Belknap master plan priorities to trustees

by UofL Today last modified Mar 05, 2010 11:13 AM

UofL plans to implement more than $300 million in construction and upgrades to its Belknap Campus over the next three to five years, according to an update of the master plan presented to the Board of Trustees March 4.

Provost gives Belknap master plan priorities to trustees

Dining facilities on the west side of campus are among the master plan priorities.

Those improvements include construction of a $75 million classroom building to ease overcrowding, as well as improvements to student services, research and campus safety, Provost Shirley Willihnganz told the group.

The plan was unveiled along with a presentation by the Speed Art Museum during the board's Finance Committee meeting. Speed officials showed a plan for renovation and additional construction of its facility, which sits on Belknap Campus facing Third Street. The plan has not been unveiled publicly.

UofL presented its master plan in November. The plan calls for about $1.1 billion in campus improvements over the next 25 years and is so vast that university administration decided to prioritize the projects for the board.

Willihnganz told the board that the most immediate priorities on the list include a dining hall on the northwest side of campus; a $3 million addition to the College of Business building; relocation of the Disabilities Resources Center and Campus Health Services (cost to be determined); and beautification and safety improvements in Stansbury Park and Freedom Park ($15.6 million) and along Floyd Street ($3.1 million).

The projects may sound ambitious, particularly in a time of tight state funding, said President James Ramsey, "but over the last eight years, we've been responsible for over $1 billion in construction." That construction includes such major projects as the Center for Translational Research at the Health Sciences Center, the Center for Predictive Medicine on Shelby Campus, athletics venues, residence halls and new dining facilities.

The proposed projects would be funded through a variety of sources, including state funding, agency bonds, federal and state transportation grants, internal reallocation, athletics revenues and fundraising.

Willihnganz estimated that it will take three to five years to raise the funds.

Also on the agenda is the development of the Kentucky Trailer property south of Belknap Campus. UofL recently purchased the 33-acre parcel and plans to create a mixed-use development of academic, office and research space. That development is on the back burner for now; Kentucky Trailer will not move from the property until its new facility in Louisville Metro's Riverport development is completed in 2011. UofL will seek more than $35 million in transportation grants and will apply for a tax increment financing district to pay for that project.

Other projects on the short list include:

  • Expansion and renovation of the Life Sciences Building, $57.7 million
  • Renovation of the Natural Sciences Building, $20.4 million
  • Purchase of the Chevron property northwest of campus, cost to be determined
  • Improvements to the campus core, including development of two plaza areas, $5.7 million
  • Development of a "Century Corridor" that connects many of the historic structures on campus, $890,000
  • Expansion and renovation of the Swain Student Activities Center, $18 million
  • Construction of an East Side Welcome Center and Warnock Street improvements, $3.9 million
  • Construction of a student recreation building and services center on the west side of campus, $37.5 million
  • Private development of the Masterson's property into a "college town" residential and retail center
  • Construction of a 5,000-seat soccer stadium and complex, $26.6 million
  • Additional parking near Jim Patterson Stadium, $930,000
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