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UK Offers First Glimpse Inside New Residence Halls

Woodland Glen I is one of several new residence halls set to open at the University of Kentucky in just over a week.

Credit Josh James / WUKY
Woodland Glen I, a new residence hall set to open on campus August 16

Construction workers are still adding the finishing touches, but the rooms are occupant ready.

Inside, students will be greeted by a small joint dining area with a table and two slender chairs in the center. Granite counters, three sinks, and a mini-kitchenette round out the room, which splits off into two private bedrooms and a shared bathroom.

And with highs topping 90 in recent days, Housing Project Implementation director Penny Cox says new residents will likely be relieved to find no air conditioners hanging out of windows.

"There's a thermostat that lets them set it on 68 or 72 or whatever temperature they desire," she says.

Also long gone is the old-fashioned “dorm.”

Instead, UK’s new residence halls will be dubbed “Living-Learning Centers,” each outfitted with designated meeting and study rooms. Cox says UK held multiple focus groups to rank student priorities. Near the top of a lot of lists – connectivity.

"Each room has hardwired Ethernet connections and full wireless coverage. So they can be mobile and easily accessible, untethered, or they can plug in and be more high speed," she adds.

Not surprisingly, demand for the more luxurious rooms is high. While UK will be offering 2,382 new beds this fall, applications numbered more than 5000.

The residence halls are part of a broader campus-wide housing overhaul, done in partnership with private developer EdR.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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