After sitting vacant for four years, UK’s iconic Kirwan and Blanding dormitory towers are finally coming down.
Today, UK announced that demolition of the complex will begin in early 2020 pending approval from the Board of Trustees. Demolition is expected to cost $15 million ($10 million from an internal loan, $5 million from private funding), which pales in comparison to the $126 million estimate to renovate the buildings to modern standards. UK has had the plan in the works for two years, but finding funding has been challenging and demo can’t begin until the completion of an $8.5 million project to reroute the underground utility tunnels that lie directly beneath the complex.
The two 23-story towers and eight surrounding low-rise buildings were built in the 1960s and sit on 14 acres. A map of the area, per the Herald-Leader:
Once the complex is demolished — which could take 12-15 months — UK will use the area for a new 500-bed dormitory and large green space. If approved, the goal is to have the dormitory ready for the 2022-23 school year.
While it would be very cool to see the towers implode, UK is looking at other alternatives to avoid blasting on campus. A few months ago, someone shared pictures from inside the vacant buildings on Twitter:
if you go to UK please visit the kirwan-blanding towers, it’s hella chilling pic.twitter.com/ptjf4QEFah
— chloe ? (@chloestroud07) August 24, 2019
Feel free to share your favorite Kirwan Blanding memories below.