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COLLEGE-TOWN CONCEPT TO BE DEVELOPED IN AREA BORDERING UK

By Ralph Derickson


The "College-Town Concept" should have a beneficial impact on homes and buildings near UK, like the ones shown above.

Small UK Logo

"Development of this plan is a great step forward that could be very beneficial to the university, downtown and, of course, to the entire community. I commend Dr. Todd for his vision."

--Lexington Mayor Pam Miller

Small UK Logo


(click to enlarge)

Feb. 5, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- Lexington and the University of Kentucky have entered into a joint venture to develop a "College-Town Concept" for an area of the city bordering the UK campus. The plan would be a blueprint for how the area should develop and how the character of the existing neighborhoods can be preserved and enhanced.

The area, includes several city blocks bordered by Rose and Limestone, Euclid and High streets. The plan will encompass both sides of those streets. In announcing the joint venture, Lexington Mayor Pam Miller congratulated UK for the interest it has taken in downtown.

"UK and Lexington's downtown are next-door neighbors, but we've never had a joint planning process," Mayor Miller said. "Development of this plan is a great step forward that could be very beneficial to the university, downtown and, of course, to the entire community. I commend Dr. Todd for his vision."

UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. said he had seen the "College-Town Concept" in Boston, Mass., where his daughter went to college, and recognized it as a concept that would be very suitable to Lexington and UK.

"Such a development will cement the ever improving town-gown relationship between UK and Lexington and will bring a new, more robust economic interaction between the city's businessmen and businesswomen and the campus population of students, faculty and staff," he said.

The Mayor said she plans to ask the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council to approve a contract with the Baltimore, Md., firm of Ayers/Saint/Gross Architects and Planners to develop the plan. The $200,000 cost would be shared equally by UK and the city. Development of the plan would take approximately six months.

Ayers/Saint/Gross is in the process of helping the University of Kentucky update its comprehensive development plan that has not been revised since 1991. Eric Moss, a principal in Ayers/Saint/Gross, and Dhiru Thadani, director of the company's Town Planning Studio, attended today's announcement to discuss the company and its work. Ayers/Saint/Gross has created similar College-Town concepts for the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga., and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The company is in the process of creating College Town Development Plans for the University of Notre Dame/South Bend and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. The Ayers/Saint/Gross work on a comprehensive development plan for the University of Kentucky is expected to be completed this fall.

Both Mayor Miller and President Todd emphasized that UK's work on its own comprehensive plan includes city participation on an advisory board that includes Bob Wiseman, executive aide to the Mayor. And the work on the city's plans for such developments as the Newtown Pike corridor, improvements at Rupp Arena and review of downtown development includes UK participation.

Jack Blanton, senior vice president for administration, represents UK on the Newtown Pike Corridor group. David Mohney, dean of UK's College of Architecture, and President Todd are on the new Downtown Authority.

The proposed planning process will be presented to the Town Gown Commission, which includes representatives from UK, the city and neighborhoods, in February.

The city also will explore the possibility that federal agencies such as Housing and Urban Development and others will be willing to provide grants to further develop the College-Town Concept, Mayor Miler said.

President Todd noted that Town/Gown relationships are the subject of a series of seminars starting next week on the UK campus. Sponsored by the Gaines Center for the Humanities, the three seminars will examine "Town Gown Relations in Lexington."

In addition to President Todd, who will speak at the Feb. 21 seminar, other speakers in the series include Michael J. Morand, associate vice president of Yale University for New Haven and State Affairs (Feb.7) and David Scobey, associate professor at the University of Michigan and director of the Arts of Citizenship Program (Feb.14).

(Gaines Center Director Dan Rowland said the seminars are open to the public, but the available space for each session has already been filled).


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