Residents living near the University of Kentucky Tuesday evening learned more about a planned land-street swap between Lexington government and UK. The hour plus meeting included lots of questions from citizens and answers from UK and city officials.
Most of the focus of the meeting was on UK taking over parts of about two dozen streets near campus. University and city representatives stressed there are no plans for widespread street closures. One question centered on whether Woodland Avenue would extend into campus. UK Vice President Mary Vosevich. “We’re not going to be extending Woodland up to that area when those facilities come down. There’s no schedule for that,” said Vosevich.
Vosevich is talking about the eventual demolition of the Kiwan Blanding towers. Most all the talk surrounded UK’s proposed takeover of about three miles of streets. UK Neighbor Joanne Filkins suggested the university could purchase properties to use for faculty housing. “And they’ve got all kinds of carpenters, plumbers, every kind of craftsmen that could fix up these houses and sell them to UK employees. So, they’ve have more people living closer to the university,” said Filkins. “They wouldn’t have to drive, and at the same time, we’d have responsible people in the neighborhoods maintaining the properties.”
UK Real Estate Director George Ward says the school does look into this type of property acquisition, but he adds there is only so much university money available for such a makeover.
The deal, still needing city council approval, also calls for the city receiving 250 acres of business ready property near interstate 75. Planning Commissioner Derek Paulsen assured residents final details of the swap are still being worked out.