New $45 million dorm planned at University of Louisville
"These dorms were built in the early 1970s. They were old, they were decrepit. They weren't what students wanted to live in," said Mark Hebert, spokesman for the university.
Center, West and Wellness Halls are quickly turning into rubble, as construction crews make way for a new, modern dorm. It will have suite-style living for 500 students and will be geared towards upperclassmen.
"Right now the overwhelming majority of our beds on campus on land that the U of L owns are for freshman and first year students," Hebert explained. "There's not much place for sophomores, juniors and seniors that want to stay on campus."
Part of the project includes revamping nearby Stansbury Park, which is a public park.
"This is a three-prong project: demolish three old dormitories, build one brand new one, and refurbish the park to the way it was meant to be by Frederick Olmsted when he designed it back in the early 1900s."
The university estimates it will cost $2 to $4 million to refurbish the city park. Proposed plans include a water feature, great lawn, sculpture garden and a welcome center with restrooms.
The beautiful entrance to the University of Louisville is right across the street from Stansbury Park. Once the makeover at the park is finished, school officials hope the two will complement each other.
"We want that to be a real jewel that a lot of people pass on the way to Churchill Downs and the south part of Louisville," said Hebert.
The U of L Foundation is finalizing plans between the city and a developer, which will take care of the dorm. It is a private-public partnership.
"We reached out to a private developer and said, 'hey, would you guys be willing to put up the money to build this, you will get some of the fees back from the students that will be living in this dorm and the university foundation will also get some money for that,'" explained Hebert. "We'll have a private developer pay for it (the dorm), build it, it's going to be about $45 million or so, and the foundation would then take money from the rental fees and use that to plow back into the park to renovate the park."
The developer will also get money from the dorm's fees.
The dorm is slated to open in the fall of 2016. The revamp for the park would be a few years down the road.
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