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UK exploring plans to demolish Kirwan-Blanding Complex

UK has released a rendering of what the new section of south campus could look like. (UK)
UK has released a rendering of what the new section of south campus could look like. (UK)(WKYT)
Published: Dec. 6, 2019 at 11:33 AM EST
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The University of Kentucky's Kirwan-Blanding Complex will be demolished, but UK has to figure out how they're going to do that safely and how to pay for it.

UK President Eli Capilouto will ask the UK Board of Trustees next week to approve a funding proposal for the project.

The complex features two towers that have been an iconic part of the south campus' landscape and skyline. They've been closed for years.

UK is looking for ways to demolish the buildings that do not include implosion. Instead, the goal is to take the towers down piece by piece, due to concerns of dust and asbestos.

"[We are] working very diligently to find other technologies with our healthcare environment, hospital environment adjacent to the campus also the idea of moving all of that debris off-site," said Dr. Eric Monday Vice President of Finance and Administration. "We think we have identified some more environmentally solutions. So we will put that in the RFP and make sure that is a requirement. We do not want an implosion."

Demolition could begin early next year and continue for about a year.

New plans include constructing a new student living space and a new green space while preserving the trees in the area.

The board will consider approving $15 million for the demolition of the Kirwan-Blanding Residence Hall Complex and Dining Commons.

The source of funding would be a $10 million internal loan to Auxiliary Services and $5 million from private funds. An additional $5 million internal loan will go toward the civil site infrastructure improvements that would create the green space.

The complex sits on about 14 acres, and new residence halls would provide more than 500 beds for students.

New housing is expected to open in the fall of 2022.