Renovation Blog

Updated Floor Plans

We've added some updated Floor Plans of the Student Center. They can also be viewed on our Concepts and Floor Plans page.

Champions Kitchen Opening Weekend

Residential Dining in the Student Center is open! We had a small opening for members to experience the newly opened section. Here is a video highlighting some of the exciting new options available in the completed Student Center. We were also able to interview Steven Clem of Clem's Refrigerated Foods, and get his input on his company's role in the new dining facility, as well as his initial impressions towards the dining area. Enjoy!

December 20th, 2017

The Student Center recently had the distinct honor of hosting officials from Shanghai University for a site tour of the (nearly finished!) Student Center. We hope the visit will inspire their upcoming efforts to renovate their own Student Center - and that we'll get to take a trip to Shanghai to check it out! Check out our recap of the visit for an updated look at the building's interior:

November 2nd, 2017

Here are some photos of our latest walkthrough of the Student Center!



October 26th, 2017

A Design Thinking Workshop was held on October 26th. Facilitated by UK Professor John Nash, the goal of this workshop was to stimulate the creation of co-curricular activities in the reimagined UK Student Center. Check out the video here!



October 20th, 2017

As the brick facade was being added to the building, we took a walk around the perimeter of the building to take some photos of how the building looks from all angles. Soon, we will be taking another tour through the building and will be able to show you how the interior of the building is coming along!



July 14th, 2017

On July 14th student employees from the UK Student Center and students from the University of Kentucky Forestry Club met at the Wood Utilization Center in Robinson Forest, located in Quicksand, KY. With assistance from Doran Howard and Chad Niman, staff members from UK’s Department of Forestry in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment, the students collaborated together to sand and prepared the tables for finishing. The wood featured below was harvested from the site of the UK Student Center in Lexington, KY as a sustainability and re-purposing venture for the renovation and expansion project in cooperation with the Forestry Department in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment. The finished wood furniture will used in the Great Hall of the Student Center.
Doran Howard, removing the live edge from the dried wood. Wood going through the planer. Wood coming out of the planer. Sarah Johnston, UK Forestry major(front). Nathan McKendree and Arianna Nouel UK Student Center employees (back). Garrett Dunn; UK Forestry major (left), Chad Niman; UK Department of Forestry (center), & Sarah Johnston (right). Chad Niman, Nathan McKenree, Arianna Nouel, Sarah Johnston, Doran Howard, and Garrett Dunn. Sarah Johnston, Doran Howard, and Garrett Dunn. Sarah Johnston and Nathan McKendree. Garrett Dunn Chad Niman and Garrett Dunn. Sanded wood table tops. Doran Howard spraying finish on the wood. Finished wood table top. Finished wood table top.



June 20th, 2017

We were given some aerial shots of the Student Center's progress! Feel free to check out some of the photos we tooks!



May 11th, 2017

We were invited once again to do a walk-through of the building site. Here are some of the pictures we were able to capture! Alumni Gym Interior Future Cats Den Location Cinema Screen Area Great Hall Back-of-house Corridor Finally, we have a 3-comparison shot, showing the progress of the construction and renovation



March, 2017

We produced a video about our trip to Quicksand, Kentucky. More pictures can be found below!



March, 2017

We were able to get another walkthrough of the Student Center's site and grab some pictures of the progress! Check them out below!
Blue Box Theater Cinema Plaza Space Atrium Between the original 1938 section and Alumni Gym Outdoor Plaza Topping Out Beam



March, 2017

On March 10th, the Design Team Architects and Interior Designer from Perkins + Will and OMNI had the opportunity to travel with some Student Center staff to the Wood Utilization Center at the Robinson Forest, in Quicksand, KY. Wood harvested on the site of the UK Student Center in Lexington was taken to the Center to be sawn and dried for future use in the Student Center. This is a sustainability and re-purposing venture for the renovation and expansion project in cooperation with the Forestry Department in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. The finished wood will be used in furniture to be used in the Great Hall of the Student Center. This was our first visit to view the wood product and a great opportunity to visit with faculty and craftsmen in the Department of Forestry. If you look closely you will be able to see the beautiful wood grain and textures.



March 14th, 2017

We were given some aerial shots of the Student Center during its Renovation and Expansion. Check them out here! And be sure to check out our Time-Lapse video!


January 15th, 2017

We have a second video from the walkthrough we did in November. We invite you to check it out here!

December 20th, 2016

In late November, the Steering Committee was invited to have a tour of the transformation of the Student Center, and to walk through the building. Here is a short video of some of the photos and footage we were able to capture.

Topping Out Ceremony

On August 26th, the Student Center hosted a "Topping Out" ceremony to celebrate the worker's achievements. We had brought a steel beam for students, faculty, staff, and everyone else involved with the construction to sign their names. At the end of the ceremony, the beam was hoisted and fastened to the steel frame of the building, where it will remain. Please enjoy some photos and video from the event!

August 11th, 2016

We got to go on-site again to the Student Center site with some of our friends over at Perkins + Will to get some more shots of the Student Center! Check out what we caught below.

July 20th, 2016

On July 20th 2016, we had the opportunity to visit the site and see in real time how construction is progressing. We created a small video montage to show some of the progress pictures of the building. We hope you enjoy!

June 30th, 2016

Steering Committee members Drew Crawford (Graduate Student, Gatton College of Business and Economics) and Dorothy Prather (Undergraduate Student, College of Education-Kinesiology) visited the Construction Work Site and met with Messer Construction Managers to see how intricate and sophisticated the construction industry has become. A truly exciting time seeing how the process works with 3-dimensional digital fly-bys insuring that all the pieces fit together correctly.

April 19th, 2016

Here are a couple of pictures we were able to take of the ongoing construction of the Student Center. Metal framework is being placed near the building!

March 10th, 2016

We met with Ron Lee, Director of Campus Recreation to get his thoughts on the Alumni Gym Renovation.

And here are some snapshots taken at the construction site:

November 20th, 2015

We interviewed Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Jim Wims to get his thoughts on the Student Center Renovation and Expansion project. You can view the interview below.

November 11th, 2015

We asked Lead Project Manager Reggie Smith for his thoughts regarding the current status about the Renovation and Expansion project. You can view the interview below.

November 5th, 2015

We were able to take some pictures from within the construction zone. See how the Student Center selective demolition is progressing!

September 14th, 2015

We were able to take a walkthrough of the Student Center right before the 1963 original addition was to be demolished.

July 6th, 2015

Selective demolition of the UK Student Center continues!

June 25th, 2015

Selective demolition of the UK Student Center has started. Here are some pictures and videos!

June 24th, 2015 (Update of February's posts)

Here are some updated conceptualizations of the new Student Center!

February 25th, 2015

(See June 24th's update)

February 9th, 2015

(See June 24th's update)

October 27th, 2014

Eric Monday shares his thoughts on the Student Center Renovation and Expansion.
Watch new UK Student Center become a reality One of the most exciting projects we’re planning for our campus is a renovation and expansion of the UK Student Center. This summer, a team of UK staff and others have begun meeting to plan the design and needs for a new Student Center. Our goal is to take the best of the existing Student Center — some of the original structure, such as the meticulous brick work and Grand Ballroom entrance — and combine it with new features that will entice students and the entire community to consider this place a central gathering space for the university. Over the next few months, we’ll be planning in earnest for this project — a $165 million reimagining of what our Student Center can and should be for UK and the broader community we serve. What kinds of food options do we need in the Student Center? What student services and offices should be located in this space? What new features — such as a new workout facility for the north end of campus — will create an even greater sense of community? You can follow the progress of this important project at a special website — We’ll be announcing important developments along the way. And over the course of the next 18 months, there will be some temporary inconveniences with offices and services moving for a short time as construction begins. But I hope everyone agrees the long-term gain will be worth any short-term changes. It’s another example of how at the University of Kentucky we are placing students first in everything that we do. Go Cats! Eric Monday



October 1st, 2014

A word from our Student Government Association President, Jake Ingram A living room represents the heart of a home—a place where family and friends work, gather, and live. On a much larger scale, a university’s student center acts as a living room for students. We go there to work with various student organizations, to gather with friends for meals, movies or music. The student center embodies student life beyond the classroom and stands as a constant reminder that our experiential education is as vital as the degree we earn. While our current student center serves its living room function well, the time has come for a change for the better. With an ever-growing student population and the transformation of the rest of campus, there is no better time. The new student center will not only accelerate the rejuvenation of campus infrastructure, but will define this era of campus development. Most importantly, as one of the single largest student union projects in North America, it stands as an indication that UK puts students first in everything we do. From the student perspective, a new student center means places to meet friends and study, robust programming, like concerts and speakers, meeting a professor for coffee, attending an event that facilitates a positive town and gown relationship. It means access to never-before-seen resources to take your student organization to the next level. It means having a place to meet and interact with new people, and build the bonds of community that make our University stronger. In the design process right now, we are considering the past, present, and future. We will honor the success of past student leaders and the historical architecture; we are engaging with current students to ensure their perspectives are reflected; and most importantly, we are planning for the aspirations of future generations of Wildcats. The five students who sit on the steering committee provide input on the project and voice student concerns to keep the focus on what our current and future Wildcats will need and want. The thoughts of all students are certainly welcome; I encourage students to post on the renovation website at The new student center is a key element to the campus transformation that will vault the University of Kentucky into a new tier of institutional excellence—a tier where our aspirant peers become our peers, and we become the aspiration of others. It will rejuvenate the campus experience and breathe life back into the heart of our University. This new living room will provide the dynamic space each member of our Big Blue Family can call home.





September 9th, 2014

On September 4th, the Student Center hosted an event to thank our generous donor, Carol Martin (Bill) Gatton. Gatton has donated $20 million to the University of Kentucky Student Center Renovation and Expansion project. Many people were in attendance, from Gatton's friends and family, past and present student government leaders, to esteemed members of the community. You can watch some of the highlights here





July 18th, 2014

The Steering Committee met for an afternoon session to finalize recommendations to the Executive Committee on the Program for the new Student Center. The Steering Committee unanimously recommended that the Executive Committee authorize proceeding with the Schematic Design Phase of the Project. The team will begin to incorporate space types, sizes and adjacencies into concept diagrams and floor plans which will begin to reflect the information gathered and the direction of this UK Student Center Project. The Executive Committee authorized proceeding with Schematic Design for the recommended Program, and asked the Design Team to explore a couple of project options with parking, landscape and seamless transparencies between indoor and outdoor spaces.





July 2nd, 2014

I am very pleased to welcome you to the UK Student Center Renovation and Expansion Project Website. This will be a living, breathing facility which will express the value we place in our students and the university community. We will strive to be the aspirational facility worldwide programmatically, aesthetically and functionally. We are extraordinarily excited to begin this project for a Re-Imagined and Transformational Change to the UK Student Center. A special thank you to President Capilouto for his incredible vision, and his efforts to make a transformational change at the University of Kentucky which will invigorate our campus culture for decades to come. Our intent is to keep the UK community informed about all aspects of the project as well as where you will be able to find continuing programs, services, and facilities of the UK Student Center. Some of our programs and activities will “go on the road” as touring entertainment during construction. A communication plan has been developed with this in mind. The primary goals for the communication plan include the following: increase the UK community’s understanding of the project, provide various communication vehicles and methods designed to keep UK apprised of project information and updates, and to encourage participation in various opportunities for input into the process (especially during the planning and design phase). The communication vehicles that we will employ are multifaceted and designed to reach as many stakeholders as possible. They will include the UK Student Center website, this dedicated “renovation” website and “blog” for the project, e-mail, social media (Facebook, interactive Twitter chats), multimedia (videos, live webcams in construction areas, pictures), print media, press releases and opportunities for student involvement in the project. Student input and involvement has been solicited and encouraged through participation on committees, focus groups, videos, advisory groups and more. Feel free to share your thoughts, vision and comments on the future of the UK Student Center.