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UK in talks to transfer dorms to private company

By: Melissa Etezadi Email
By: Melissa Etezadi Email

Its a tough task for any University in this economy -- renovating outdated residence halls and adding new ones.

University of Kentucky officials think they may have found a solution that is sure to grab attention across the country.

They want to let a private company run their housing operations.
Nearly all of UK's dorms were built back in the 1960s or earlier. Two of them even date back before 1950.

Since then, only four new dorms have been built. University of Kentucky officials say hiring an outside housing company could really pay off.

"The company would assume all the financial responsibilities for the dorms" explains Angela Martin, Vice President of Operational Finance at the University of Kentucky. "This would free up money for the university to spend on classrooms and lab space."

If the university goes through with this partnership the seven to 10year plan would demolish 16 dorms-- and leave six. Some of the dorms that would be demolished and rebuilt would be Blazer and Holmes. Newer dorms like Baldwin Hall would stay.

"I think we're at an advantage living here in Baldwin" explains UK student Matt Hudzinski, "Its a nicer atmosphere to study in and I actually like being here. If I had to live in some of the older ones I don't know if I'd feel the same way."

University officials say it would help with recruiting and making them more competitive. "These buildings are outdated and the newer generation is not use to some of the living styles," Martin said.

Officials say plan to have a Board of Trustees meeting to discuss the partnership. If they get the green light -- they'll start phase one in April and hope to be done by Fall 2013.


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