Campus Revitalization

It was once said of renowned architect Daniel Burnham that his greatest influence may not have been what he built, but what he imagined. He urged us all to make no little plans, to think big. And that’s exactly what we are doing at EKU as we move forward with a bold and visionary campus renewal plan that will transform the way we learn, live and work together and even change the way others perceive us.

Plans continue to unfold for a variety of exciting projects, the cost for which will be covered by an innovative combination of public-private partnerships, private dollars, a recently approved student fee and University funds. Winston Churchill once said, “We shape our buildings; thereafter, they shape us.” Our destiny is in our hands.

It is indeed a great time to be a Colonel!


Construction Continues on P3-Funded Housing

Rendering of New Martin Hall

Construction of two residence halls is underway at Eastern Kentucky University to provide new student housing options in fall 2017. Once complete, the new Martin and Brockton Halls, funded through a public-private partnership (P3), will offer a total of 1,096 beds in suite-style rooms.

“Amidst this period of decreased state funding, innovative partnerships afford us the opportunity to provide quality student housing that will improve the living and learning environment,” said EKU President Michael Benson. “We will not let the student experience suffer. It has been five decades since EKU has seen this kind of growth, and these improvements are long overdue. Although the campus landscape is changing, a whole new generation of students will find the same welcoming and supportive community our alumni know and love.”

EKU officials note that no state appropriations or tuition revenue are used to finance the construction. The University provides the ground lease and will own, manage and maintain the buildings.

The average age of EKU’s buildings is nearly 50 years, and the new residence halls replace housing with a combined age of 111 years. Updated facilities will reduce maintenance and utility costs to the University while offering students modern amenities and conveniences. Standard suites will feature adjoining bathrooms, and shared living and kitchen spaces are offered within the “super suites”. Each floor includes study and programming areas, with kitchens and laundry facilities on every other floor. Both residence halls also provide classroom space, computer labs and rec rooms, as well as social spaces in the building lobbies.  

“A vibrant campus provides more than just basic living structures for students,” said EKU Board of Regents Chair Craig Turner. “The public-private partnership is the perfect mechanism to meet the needs of higher education while utilizing the expertise of the private sector to implement a development plan that allows the University to continue to meet student needs and enhance the learning experience at EKU.”

In addition to new housing, the cooperative venture between F2 Companies, LLC, and Grand Campus Properties, LLC, includes creation of the Carloftis Gardens by famed landscape designer and Kentucky native, Jon Carloftis. To help meet growing parking demand, the project also includes plans being developed for EKU’s first parking garage. The approximately 350-space structure will be located in the Brockton Commuter lot.

“These projects will bolster student life in many ways,” said EKU Executive Vice President and University Counsel Laurie Carter. “We strive to create spaces that will foster academic achievement and strengthen important social interaction. Whether students are studying in small groups in the collaborative learning spaces or relaxing on the beautiful campus grounds these enhancements offer great opportunities to shape our campus community and put students on a path to success.”

The Kentucky legislature, in its 2014 budget, authorized $75 million for EKU’s P3 endeavor. The development team includes Municipal Acquisitions, a Washington, D.C.-based real estate company that invests exclusively in the public sector real estate market, and Kentucky-based EOP Architects and D.W. Wilburn Inc.

“We have found creative ways to continue the momentum of growing enrollment, nationally recognized academic programs, exceptional faculty and staff and the first campus revitalization since the 1960s,” said Benson. “It is a great time to be a Colonel.”


Public Private Partnership Announcement

image of EKU sign

Eastern Kentucky University selectedF2/GC, LLC, a cooperative venture between F2 Companies, LLC and Grand Campus Properties, LLC, to serve as developer for its first ever public-private partnership.

In support of this new avenue of financing, the Kentucky legislature, in its 2014 budget, authorized $75 million for EKU’s endeavor. After an extensive competitive bidding process, the Student Housing Developer Request for Proposal (RFP) Committee unanimously recommended that the University select the F2/Grand Campus partnership as its new student housing contractor because of the appealing financing terms, the extensive value-added components and the quality of the construction.
The public-private partnership will enable Eastern to add two new residence halls on its Richmond campus. In addition, as a value-added component to the winning F2/Grand Campus bid, the University, through restructuring the current lease for the 16-acre student housing complex known as Grand Campus, will receive title from Municipal Acquisitions to the land and assets of the Grand Campus facility, as well as a pedestrian bridge connecting Grand Campus to the University.
Capitalizing on the current interest rate and market conditions, the value-added restructuring of Grand Campus offered by F2/Grand Campus was completed this week. An additional value-added component will be the construction of the Carloftis Gardens and EKU’s first parking garage. 
The two new residence halls represent the second transaction, and the final documents will be executed at a later date. The second transaction will close out the RFP process. In order to meet the projected delivery date for occupancy in fall 2017, F2/Grand Campus has agreed to start construction on the new residence halls in advance of a finalized contract. 
At a time that the level of state appropriations for higher education is a hotly debated topic, EKU officials note that no state appropriations are used in the public-private partnership. The University provides the ground lease and will own, manage and maintain the buildings. Additionally, operating expenses and management fees will flow to the University in this financing structure.
“Gov. Matt Bevin has challenged us to be creative in financing new projects, and that is exactly what we’re doing here,” said EKU President Michael Benson. “These new facilities will change the face of our University forever. Such additions are an important part of our revitalization efforts, which are totally focused on enhancing the student experience.”
EKU Executive Vice President and University Counsel Laurie Carter said the partners were chosen because of “the quality of construction, the length of the lease, the University ownership of title, and their ability to meet the aggressive timeline.
Michael Fite, on behalf of F2/GC, LLC, said: “We are very excited to partner with Eastern Kentucky University for this unique project that will have a substantial impact on the University community. We have put together an impressive team and have worked proactively with the University to make sure this project will fill the needs of Eastern students for years to come.” 
The development team includes Municipal Acquisitions, a Washington, D.C. based real estate company that invests exclusively in the public sector real estate market, and has significant experience with higher education public-private partnerships. “The involvement of Jon Kling and his team at Municipal Acquisitions was crucial for the success of this project,” added Fite. Other development team members include Kentucky-based EOP Architects and D.W. Wilburn Inc.
One of the new halls will replace the recently razed Martin Hall, built in 1961, near the intersection of Lancaster and Park Drive. The Carloftis Gardens, to be designed by noted landscape designer Jon Carloftis, will serve as an entranceway into the new Martin Hall and enhance the curb appeal of the campus, especially along Lancaster Avenue. The new Brockton Hall will be constructed on Kit Carson Drive on the site of the former Brockton Apartments near the University’s New Hall.
When New Hall opened in 2013, it was the University’s first new residence hall in more than 45 years. The addition of new Brockton and new Martin replace residential housing with a combined age of 111 years. Both new halls, totaling more than 1,110 beds, are expected to open by Fall 2017.
The two new suite-style residence halls will each feature recreational space, study rooms, community kitchens and a classroom to be used for credit courses, as well as a variety of enrichment programs. In fact, one faculty member will reside in each hall, providing a stronger connection between academics and the University’s residential life program.
“We want, with our residence halls, to provide an optimal environment for students’ education,” said April Barnes, assistant dean of students. “The college student is looking for a campus that’s investing in them and their future.”
Nationally, such investments result in higher retention and graduation rates. “It will also permit us to attract more of the best-and-brightest students,” Carter said. “Students have options. They consider academic programs, of course, but they also look at facilities.”
While the facilities will certainly offer students more modern amenities than some of the University’s aging residence halls, EKU has kept its students in mind and remained focused on the price point during the design and construction phase.
“We’re not talking luxurious amenities in the new halls,” Barnes noted. “Our goal is simply to provide students with quality housing.”
“The City of Richmond is excited to see EKU add new residence halls to the campus, which in return will attract new students,” said Mayor Jim Barnes. “All the progress being made to the campus will ensure growth and continued success to EKU and our community.”
New residence halls are only a portion of $160 million in renovations and additions at EKU. Also in progress or in planning stages are a renovated student union and new recreation and wellness center, both financed by a student fee approved last year; a new dining facility, financed by the campus food vendor; and athletic facility renovations and additions, financed by private funds and a University bond issue; among other projects.
“We will remain undeterred in our ambitious revitalization of campus,” Benson said.


Lane Closure & Power Outage

Beginning at 8:00 AM on Monday March 14, 2016, the turn lane at Kit Carson & Park Drive will be closed in order for a crane to lift a transformer into the penthouse on the Wallace Building. This work should only take approximately 3 - 4 hours.
On Tuesday March 15, 2016, the Wallace building will be without power for the entire day. Please plan accordingly.

Campus Parking Update and Gift Card Incentive

As we work to improve our living and learning facilities, the construction on campus does require significant adjustments to parking areas. We continually ask for your patience and understanding in this period of growth for the Campus Beautiful.  Meeting the need for parking is a priority in the campus master plan and as that process is completed we will be able to share details on additional parking options.
To address the immediate parking concerns we are implementing some new measures and also want to remind you of existing resources and services for parking and campus safety. 
  • Gift Card and Parking Incentive – Beginning Monday, February 29, EKU Parking Services will offer a special free permit for parking in a designated area of the Lancaster Lot and Ashland lot for 100 residential students. This option is encouraged for residential students who do not need frequent access to their vehicles during the week. A limit of 100 spaces and permits will be available, and the program will be administered on a first come, first served basis by the Office of Parking and Transportation located in Mattox Hall, Suite A.  Students who choose to participate will exchange their current residential parking permit for a free Lancaster/Ashland lot purple permit. Participants will also receive a $20 Walmart gift card. Furthermore, by exchanging your current residential permit, anyone receiving the new free purple permit will also obtain a credit for a freeresidential permit (or $60 student account credit) for the Fall 2016-Spring 2017 year. Please note: The new purple permit will ONLY allow access to the designated area in the Lancaster Lot and the Ashland Lot. Parking in other lots is prohibited and will result in ticketing. This program applies to enrolled residential students, but excludes Grand Campus residents due to Grand Campus’ proximity to the Lancaster Lot. While there is shuttle service to the Ashland Lot (see link to full shuttle schedules below), there is currently no shuttle service to the Lancaster Lot.
  • New Loading/Unloading Zones – To assist residents who are carrying items into residence halls, new loading/unloading zones have been added in front of the New Hall and Greek Towers. More loading/unloading areas will be added to additional residence halls in the near future.
  • Campus Shuttle Service – We remind all students that multiple shuttle routes are available both during peak daytime hours and the evening to transport students from remote parking areas to central campus areas. You can find the full shuttle schedules at As we continue to improve campus parking and transportation options we will assess the accuracy of shuttle operations and are committed to ensuring the schedule is reliable.
  • Campus Safety Escorts – Students or employees concerned for their safety while walking to and from parking lots are encouraged to use the safety walking escort service. You can call for assistance from any of the blue phones located throughout campus, by calling EKU Police at 622-1111 or by installing and using the LiveSafe app on your phone. Learn more about LiveSafe and the many tools and services it offers the campus community here.
This will be a period of transition for the entire campus but we will continuously work to address your concerns and keep your safety in mind as we look to expand and enhance our vibrant campus community.

Case Hall and Case Annex Update

Dear Campus Colleagues:
As our campus landscape continues to change and improve, I would like to address questions relative to Case Hall and Case Annex, our plans for these structures, and their proposed timeline.  I hope the following information is helpful, and I encourage you to contact me with any additional questions or concerns.
Within the next few weeks, we will be finalizing our campus master plan with HEWV – the architectural firm hired to help with the process.  Once these plans are completed, we will utilize the campus master plan as a guide over the coming years and implement suggested plans as we can. Among the recommendations from HEWV are new traffic patterns throughout campus, additional parking, and a much more pedestrian-friendly environment across EKU.  Again, we will undertake those projects which are doable and affordable in the coming months and years. 
As it relates to Case and Case Annex, our intention is to vacate both structures at the conclusion of this Spring Semester.  Students will relocate into other residence halls.  Appropriate spaces for faculty and staff have been identified within McCreary and Mattox Halls and in the basement of the University Building.  Over the next few weeks, we will prepare these spaces in time for EKU employees to move in and make them their own during the summer months before Fall semester 2016 begins.  As you can appreciate, there are countless moving parts with many impacted individuals and timing will be critical.  We ask for your patience and cooperation as we move forward with efforts to make EKU a better place for everyone. 
Once Case and Case Annex are vacated, they will be razed.  The site will then be prepped for a new dining facility to be constructed by our food vendor.  As plans finalize, we will release the images and plans of this facility – sure to be one of the finest in Kentucky – which will provide our campus with exceptional services and food options.  The finished product will breathe new life into the center of campus.  We will continue to utilize the Powell Building for food service but once our new dining facility is completed during the Fall Semester 2017, Powell will be vacated so that its renovation can commence. 
Despite the challenges we are facing with our proposed state budget, it is an exciting time to be at EKU. I thank you for your continued service and commitment.
Yours sincerely,
Michael T. Benson

Parking Update

As construction progresses as part of the EKU Campus Revitalization Plan, the Madison and upper Brockton residential lots will close beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, February 19. Additional parking areas are available for residents in the Brockton Lot behind the New Science Building, Existing residential parking in the area also includes the Kit Carson and Telford lots. Residents who do not need daily access to vehicles are encouraged to consider parking options in the Ashland or Perkins lot with shuttle service to central campus areas. You will find an updated parking map and shuttle information below. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we continue to improve campus housing options and enhance the Campus Beautiful.

Download high resolution version [1.17MB PDF]


Campus Parking Update and Changes for February 7, 2016

Dear Campus:
Over the weekend, construction fencing was erected around Martin Hall and around the Martin and Keith parking lots.  Given the needs for ingress and egress for demolition and construction machinery and workers – and the narrowness of the exit onto Lancaster Avenue -- it has become necessary to close the Keith Lot.  However, additional accessible spaces will be provided along University Drive as noted in the map below.  Please note these changes.
Temporary signage has been placed to reserve these spaces along University Drive and permanent spots will be established in the next few days.
Please plan accordingly as you make your way to campus tomorrow.  Proximate parking to some buildings has been removed so that these improvement projects can move forward.  We very much appreciate your patience throughout this process as we endeavor to continually enhance the living and learnings spaces at EKU.
Yours sincerely,
Michael T. Benson
spring_2016_construction_parking_map_020716.pdf868.26 KB

Spring 2016 Campus Parking Update and Changes

Dear Campus:
The updated parking map below contains additional details of how lots will be configured/zoned in the near future and which ones will be closed.
To summarize:
The Martin Lot will begin being closed off Friday, February 4, at 4:30 pm, with fencing going up this weekend.  This will be the staging area for the new Martin Hall replacement project.
The Brockton Resident Lot and Madison Lot changes will take place mid-February once the fencing is prepared and put into place.  The target date for these changes is February 18, 2016. 
The Brockton Lot (across from the Rec Center and currently zoned as commuter only) will consist of residential parking as well. This change will go into effect immediately.
Thanks for your continued patience as we work to improve our facilities and upgrade our infrastructure.
Kind regards,
Michael T. Benson

Partner Announced for New Housing Development

After a rigorous search process that elicited responses from several national firms, Eastern Kentucky University has issued a letter of intent to award the development of its new student housing projects between  F2 Companies of Columbus, Ohio, and Grand Campus Properties of Richmond, Kentucky. This is the first public-private partnership (P3) project for the University.

“The proposal we selected includes all the elements we sought, plus some value added components that will transform our campus now and well into the future," said Dr. Laurie Carter, EKU Executive Vice President and General Counsel.

The winning proposal includes more than 1,100 beds on the sites of Martin Hall and the current Brockton Block on Kit Carson Drive.  It is anticipated that both new halls, totaling $75 million in new construction, will be completed in time for occupancy in Fall 2017.

“These new facilities will change the face of our university forever,” said EKU President Michael Benson.  “Additions such as these new residence halls are part of our revitalization program which is totally focused on improving and enhancing the student experience.”


Martin Hall Announcement

image of Martin Hall

Residents of Martin Hall,

It is an exciting time to be at Eastern Kentucky University.  President Michael T. Benson is leading the University in a revitalization of campus that will enhance the student experience.  The success of our students is in the forefront of every decision we make related to rebuilding or enhancing our facilities.

EKU is implementing an aggressive timeline in order to have new housing for residents by Fall 2017. The first phase of the process is to raze Martin Hall.  The work will begin in February 2016. University Housing is developing a plan to relocate all students currently living in Martin Hall.  We will make the transition as seamless as possible. An exact plan of action will be communicated as details are finalized. Transparency is a cornerstone of our action plan as we move forward together. We will continue to communicate with you openly through each phase of this process. 

At this point in the process, our priorities are as follows:

  • Every affected student will have a place to live.
  • Every affected student will retain the Martin Hall price point for the remainder of the year.
  • Martin Hall residents will have first priority for housing in the new residence hall to be completed in Fall 2017.

Residents who choose to be proactive in finding a permanent space on campus are encouraged to participate in room changes September 8th-14th with the rest of the campus community.  This will not be the only opportunity for Martin Hall students to move. However, it is the earliest time for students to find a permanent assignment in another residence hall.  If you do not submit a room change request all remaining Martin Hall residents will be placed in housing assignments in January.

We have created a Question and Answer page at to address the questions we believe will be most common. Housing will continue to update the page as more details become available and staff will be available to provide information and assistance throughout the moving process.

Again, we are committed to your success and will work diligently to provide a smooth transition.

Martin Hall FAQ

When will I have to move?
Martin Hall is scheduled for demolition in February 2016.  All students must be moved by February 1st. Residents who choose to be proactive in finding a permanent space on campus are encouraged to participate in room changes September 8th-14th. If you do not submit a room change request all remaining Martin Hall residents will be placed in housing assignments in January 2016.

When can I move?
Martin Hall residents can start moving into open spaces on campus when room changes begin on September 8th 2015.  Permanent housing assignments for all remaining Martin Hall residents will be made in January 2016.

Where will I have to move?
Martin Hall residents will be able to move into any open space in any residence hall where they are eligible for residency. Priority will be given to Martin Hall residents once consolidation is complete in September 2015.

Will I be able to live in the new residence hall?
Residents of Martin Hall will be given first priority for housing placements in the new residence hall when it is completed in Fall 2017.

What if there isn’t room?
EKU Housing will provide an assignment for all Martin Hall residents.

Will I have to pay the higher residence hall rate?
No, Martin Hall residents will stay at the Martin Hall price point for the remainder of the academic year.

Will I have help moving?
We want to make this a smooth transition and housing will organize volunteers to help move students’ belongings.  Students will also be able to check out dollies to assist in the moving process.

Will I get to stay with my roommate?
Housing is making every effort possible to consolidate students when full rooms open up (priority will be given to Martin Hall residents), however we cannot guarantee roommates will be able to stay together.

Can I be released from my Housing Contract?
Because we will be placing you into a comparable or upgraded residence hall we will not need to release residents from their housing contract.

What will happen to the staff positions at Martin Hall? 
Martin Hall staff will remain EKU Housing staff members with the same benefits. The details on staff reassignments are still being determined but they will continue to have employment with EKU Housing. 

Why do students need to move during the academic year?
Academic success of our students is always our number one concern at EKU. Martin Hall residents are not required to move during the fall semester. Martin Hall residents will have a number of options and opportunities to relocate now through February 1, 2016. If residents choose not to request a room change, EKU Housing will assign placements for those Martin Hall residents in January 2016. Residents will be required to move to their assigned rooms by February 2016. To learn more about the room change request process please visit

Why does the construction have to begin during the academic year? 
EKU is working with a master planner who is leading the campus revitalization. The residence hall plan calls for a new residence hall to be constructed and ready for opening in Fall 2017. To meet this deadline the developer determined the site preparations and construction would need to begin no later than February 2016. 

Why were students allowed to move into Martin Hall when there were already plans to raze the building? Why did we not know about this earlier? 
Working with the master planner for the EKU campus revitalization initiative, developers determined in early September 2015 that Martin Hall should be the first phase of planned residential housing upgrades. To ensure transparency about information concerning the campus revitalization, Martin Hall residents were notified.  Fall 2015 housing assignments were made beginning in January of 2015 through August 2015 before building plans had been finalized. To learn more about the room change request process please visit