The walls, roofs, doors … in fact, every inch of three student dormitory buildings on the BelknapCampus are tumbling down. Center, Wellness and West Halls are being demolished to make way for a planned student housing complex that will include a restoration of Stansbury Park, which is adjacent to the site. UofL is working with Louisville Metro government and a developer on the project.
“This project has a dual purpose” said Kathleen Smith, chief of staff to the president. “It will result in the first new student housing on UofL property since 2005 and a beautiful restoration of Stansbury Park to the way park designer Frederic Olmsted wanted to see it.”
The three dorm buildings were built in the 1970s and had about 150 beds. West Hall was home to the campus housing office. The planned new facility would be built and managed by a private developer and have more than 500 beds targeting upperclassmen, according to Jason Tomlinson, CFO of the UofL Foundation, which is managing the project.
The proposed agreement with the developer would include funding for the revamping of the park, which is owned by the city of Louisville. A water feature, bicycle pavilion, great lawn, sculpture garden, tennis courts and a welcome center with restrooms are some of the features planned for the multi-million dollar makeover. The Metropolitan Sewer District is being asked to collaborate on new catch basins to reduce flooding and provide water for irrigation. The park is located directly across Third St. from the main entrance to UofL, Grawemeyer Hall and the restored Thinker statue.
“People repeatedly tell us how beautiful our main entrance is” Smith said. “We want the opposite side of 3rd St. to be stunning as well and leave a lasting impression on the thousands of visitors who pass UofL at Derby time and throughout the year.”