The Herald-Leader has details on the proposed upgrades to facilities at UK for which political support was announced today in Frankfort by Governor Beshear and UK president Eli Capilouto:
About $275 million of that money would be spent at UK on the following projects:
■ A new $100 million science building on Rose Street, replacing the current Donovan Hall. Officials said UK Athletics would pay two-thirds of the debt service on the building.
■ A $65 million renovation and expansion of the Gatton College of Business and Economics, which would be paid for with private donations;
■ A $110 million renovation of Commonwealth Stadium to add luxury suites, recruiting space and other upgrades to football facilities.
Dr. Capilouto said that the luxury suites already had a waiting list, which means they are essentially already sold. The projects will be funded with "agency bonds," which UK and other universities will pay from their internal revenue flow.
Obviously, this is great news for Kentucky football, and exactly what Mark Stoops was hoping for. UK's football facilities have been seen as mostly inferior to the rest of the SEC, and while this round of improvements will hardly make us competitive with the top schools in the league, it will put UK in a much better position than they are now.
Facilities are not usually the selling point for recruits, but they do garner bonus points, and if Kentucky is perennially seen as markedly inferior, that does hurt quite a bit. This should move Kentucky up enough that any perceived lack of facility polish won't be as glaring, minimizing its importance.
The upgrades are expected to start this year and are estimated for completion in July of 2015.