Developer Education Realty Trust (EdR) has broken ground on the $25.8m central residence hall at the University of Kentucky, US.
The 601-bed building, the first residence hall to be built on campus since 2005, is expected to be available for occupancy in autumn 2013.
University of Kentucky president Eli Capilouto said that upon completion, the new residence hall will offer the technology and amenities students expect of a modern research university.
"Additionally, this facility and our campus-wide revitalisation effort over the next several years, will yield hundreds of construction jobs, bolstering local industry and business, and benefitting the state economy," Capilouto said.
The new central residence hall will be a "living-learning community" with classrooms and meeting space.
For the first phase of the project, Sherman Carter Barnhart and Messer Construction have been selected as the architect of record and general contractor, respectively.
This first building, which EdR will own under a long-term ground-lease deal, is being built near the centre of the campus on Haggin Field.
University of Kentucky and EdR are currently in negotiations regarding the second phase of the project, which includes demolition and replacement of the majority of current on-campus housing, as well as the expansion of the project to 9,000 beds over the next five to seven years.
EdR will assume management responsibility for the university's 6,000-bed housing portfolio in the second phase.
Future construction sites include projects on north campus to replace Blazer, Boyd, Jewell and Holmes halls, as well as the replacement of the Kirwan / Blanding complex on south campus.
In addition to the previously approved $52m, the Kentucky state government has allocated $175m for the second phase of the project, to be implemented by 2014-15 in a public / private partnership.
Caption: The new central residence hall will be a "living-learning community" with classrooms and meeting space. Image: courtesy of the University of Kentucky.