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The UK Student Center is Coming Down

photo by Charles Bertram

I didn’t go to UK. But even during my time at Transy and in the following years, I have spent a good amount of hours at the UK Student Center. Thus it is with a small degree of sadness that I saw the above picture of the UK Student Center being torn down today. It is of course part of a larger renovation project on campus that is paying massive dividends and totally changing the face of the University. If you haven’t been on campus in five years, a return now would see a completely different place of which you are not familiar. One of the last buildings to get the treatment was the Student Center as a new one is to be constructed that will be state of the art and a massive upgrade.

Still as these buildings go down, you can’t help but have a small amount of sadness. For me, most of the memories are associated with KSR (we did an early podcast, did a round of KSR writer interviews and have had a couple of remotes all there as well) but also a couple from the heady 96-98 basketball days. I am sure you have a number of them too, so take some time tonight and pour one out for the Student Center…it leaves us now to head to a better place and your days of ping pong, video games and seeing Stone Cold Willow are now just memories in your mind.

For more pictures of the demolition, click the Herald Leader collection here:

Article written by Matt Jones

36 Comments for The UK Student Center is Coming Down

  1. Drew Franklin
    8:44 pm July 7, 2015 Permalink

    The Taco Bell there had the best Doritos Locos Tacos

  2. Praddep Gupta
    8:48 pm July 7, 2015 Permalink

    Took calculus tests early and passed the answers to my friends at the student center before they took the test. Lots of great memories

  3. scottuky99
    8:58 pm July 7, 2015 Permalink

    Watching Derek Anderson and Allen Edwards hitting on all the girls in line getting food 95-97

  4. Bob Hewitt
    9:04 pm July 7, 2015 Permalink

    Watched the Cats lose to Texas Western in the NCAA Tournament on a black and white TV there. Sad night, indeed,

  5. UK Alum '08
    9:04 pm July 7, 2015 Permalink

    UK, I don’t even know you anymore. Spent my first two years in Haggin and Holmes too…

  6. bbanks
    9:06 pm July 7, 2015 Permalink

    I was there studying for a Marketing 301 exam, eating chocolate donuts, and slamming some 2% when the first plane hit the World Tower. I returned there when they cancelled our test to watch the coverage with a couple hundred other students. That is a place and a memory I will never forget, and I’m sad to see it go. However, that building was dated when I graduated in 2003, and I’m sure it will be replaced with something very nice.

  7. CThomas
    9:13 pm July 7, 2015 Permalink

    Just started my first semester at UK and I watched hurricane Hugo slam into South Carolina from the TV in the Student Center.

  8. Ardee
    9:31 pm July 7, 2015 Permalink

    Used to get a $2.99 21-pc shrimp meal that included hush puppies and french fries from LJS. Then eat it in the smoking room and have a couple Marlboro’s. Jesus, it’s a wonder I’m still alive.

  9. DT in DC
    9:51 pm July 7, 2015 Permalink

    My first visit to campus was my senior year in high school when I went there for my official college visit. We met there and watched a video of the campus set to the awesome song by EMF – “Unbelievable.” Then so many memories while actually a student there. So sad to see it leave. I graduated 19 years ago and I don’t even recognize the campus today. Progress and updated facilities are nice, but man does it make me feel old.

  10. BluKudzu
    9:52 pm July 7, 2015 Permalink

    The Ballroom had a concert. The Rolling Stone magazine said this group will change the face of rock and roll. That was the 5×8 printing machine copy of the actual article that was pinned up on the wall in the whitehouse class room building.
    The band was then in heard of. I went to see them for $5.00, general admission.
    It was Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
    Greatest thing ever in that building.

    • DT in DC
      10:03 pm July 7, 2015 Permalink

      I saw several shows there, too, but nothing like Springsteen! It would be cool to see if they have a master list of all the bands that played there.

    • blue2u
      12:17 am July 8, 2015 Permalink

      That show was my freshman year and I still can’t remember it or why I didnt go. That is a pretty famous show in Springsteen lore, because drummer Vini Lopez showed up late and Springsteen fired him. They went back to New York and ran an ad in the Village Voice for a drummer, and ended up hiring Max Weinberg. Vini Lopez didnt play with the band again until 2004, a show I happened to attend in Giants Stadium.

  11. Leuther
    9:55 pm July 7, 2015 Permalink

    Picked up spending money hustling pool there…

    • katdaddy
      10:05 pm July 7, 2015 Permalink


  12. Real True Blue Cat
    10:11 pm July 7, 2015 Permalink

    I was just walking up and saw the Challenger shuttle blow up on the TV there. Stunned students continued to gather there to watch the coverage.

    • dave simmons
      1:25 pm July 8, 2015 Permalink

      I was there that day too

    • waning_gibbous
      9:05 am July 9, 2015 Permalink

      Yep….walked up right after it happened. I had to stop to watch, because I had never seen so many people standing in that area before.

  13. LigginsLoveSAT
    10:13 pm July 7, 2015 Permalink

    I remember going into the bookstore on Monday’s during football season to get the discount equal to the number of points scored the previous Saturday. Lorenzen helped me score some nice things!

  14. UK Alum 1983
    10:26 pm July 7, 2015 Permalink

    Used to eat lunch in the cafeteria every Friday. They had the best Fried Cod, Mac and cheese and Strawberry-Rhubarb cobbler. YUM!

  15. 1968 Grad
    10:32 pm July 7, 2015 Permalink

    Spent a lot of time in the Grill playing Bridge. There was a jukebox – heard “house of the Rising Sun” and “Pretty Woman” many times. The Delts always sat at the first table. Good memories, good times.

  16. Ridge Runner
    10:48 pm July 7, 2015 Permalink

    Never a student at UK -but as a fan since ’72 and having visited there a long time ago… yes, sad to see it go. It was truly a staple at the campus in more ways than one.

  17. Becker
    11:25 pm July 7, 2015 Permalink

    Saw Randy Newman in the SC Ballroom in the mid-70s. I also remember there was a map of the U.S. there where students could arrange a ride home for the weekend.

  18. judgejkh
    11:43 pm July 7, 2015 Permalink

    Many memories: watching Brother Jed (or Jeb?) condemn everyone for their lifestyle in the late 80’s in the free speech area, going to movies at the theater, spending hours in the bookstore, watching tv with friends between classes, eating in the huge cafeteria but what always interested me most was the message board where people and businesses would post most anything from ride shares to food discounts, karate lessons, whatever, it was on there!

  19. Windycitysteam
    12:09 am July 8, 2015 Permalink

    Does anyone know who is the demolition work? I’m probably the only one who cares, but I used to work for superior demolition when I lived in Lex, was just curious if they were getting any of the demo work at the school?

  20. Paul in Versailles
    12:21 am July 8, 2015 Permalink

    I remember being a former UK student in the 60’s when a old friend of mine reminded recently me of a story we witnessed as we heard a lot of chaos in the Student Center one night in the 60’s….

    We did not know what was going on but we followed everyone leaving the the UK Student Center one night across Euclid Avenue. We stood still as we watched Vietnam War protestors burn the old UK Army ROTC building down on campus down. The fire was very intense and the times were turbulant back then. Just a memory I will never forget. Reminds me also of the Vietnam War Protest at Kent State. Google it.

    • Plain Truth
      2:21 pm July 8, 2015 Permalink

      I remember this and if I am not mistaken that was it for classes for the rest of the semester.

  21. RLWaddellDewey
    12:55 am July 8, 2015 Permalink

    scheduled my classes around Days of Our Lives and General Hospital in 1982 just so I could join up with other loyal soap addicts to watch! Goodbye old friend!

  22. Michael in Texas
    2:43 am July 8, 2015 Permalink

    I worked there in the late 60s and early 70s. Remember all the concerts, etc . Was there for the protests following Kent State. A huge piece of my past going down.

  23. paducahfan
    9:26 am July 8, 2015 Permalink

    If the Mag 7 and Torques had not played jam sessions in the afternoon, I would be an engineer somewhere today.

  24. Peyton Nunley
    9:43 am July 8, 2015 Permalink

    The student center was a wonderful place for a shy girl to ananymously blend in- eat my lunch from home while watching Days of Our Lives with countless others. I rented camping gear for a fun trip with friends to the gorge. Most significantly, I met my husband when I ordered an apple and water ( shy and broke) at the Wild Cat Grill. Change is hard- glad I’ve gone back to visit over the years to see it has continuously evolved and metamorphosized within its familiar shell. Perhaps we’ll all love the butterfly the new student center will be.

  25. cats42301
    11:32 am July 8, 2015 Permalink

    There are a lot of good things about this website and very few bad. One of the bad is its attempt to keep glorifying this Stone Cold Willow idiot in hope of extending his 15 minutes of KSR fame. Some will say well you don’t know him. No, I am not a follower of his, I have seen him at Commonwealth and witnessed a couple of his attempts to harass people until they bought a UK cell phone cover that ended up not fitting the phone. That’s one thing but some of the derogatory late night twitter tweets are another. I can not overlook these several ultra obscene messages directed at women. I will not repeat here, but I am sure if more women realized some of the sick things he has said on twitter directed at some female students and others they would object to KSR even mentioning his name on the website or radio. Please cut ties with this individual.

  26. Louis
    1:04 pm July 8, 2015 Permalink

    My time there while short meant a lot to me considering within the student theater was Worsham Theater the place where I proposed to my beautiful fiance not but a few months ago on April 24. It was where we went on our first date and seeinh it come down brings tears to my eyes knowing I can never visit that wonderful place again.

  27. Dieter
    1:41 pm July 8, 2015 Permalink

    That place was crap. Proud UK alum and fan, but embarrassed by that decrepit bundle of awfulness. Let’s not pretend there was anything good about it. All food was overpriced, deep fried, and/or bad. It had a dingy Cold War feel about it to make Nov-March weather feel that much more depressing. Good riddance!

    Can’t wait for us to have an SEC-caliber student center!

  28. Hazel
    5:18 pm July 8, 2015 Permalink

    Was going to UK late 60s early 70s..participated in my 1st protest in 68 when some student was arrested about drugs…really didn’t know why or what was the protest but followed the crowds from Maxwell Place to the Student Center ballroom where we all camped out and ignored curfew!! Was punished for it but made some of my best friends during the sleepover…and proud that I did it!

  29. MizRoc
    7:05 pm July 8, 2015 Permalink

    First KLair, now the Student Center. I didn’t realize progress was so sad.

  30. Sterling
    6:07 am July 9, 2015 Permalink

    As a freshman commuter student I spent many hours between classes shooting pool, playing cards, eating at the grill or just hanging with friends, but the one memory I’ll never forget was as follows.
    I was leaving the building via the ground floor door by the pool (billiards) room. It was near lunch time and I had just enough time to drive home for lunch and make it back to campus before the start of my afternoon chemistry lecture. As I exited the door I noticed a group of 15 or 20 students in a huddle on the sidewalk. I walked by them and saw that one student in the middle of the crowd had a transistor radio that all were trying to hear. I asked one fellow what was holding their interest and he replied that the radio news was reporting that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas, Texas and was being rushed to the hospital. That was my saddest day ever at the Student Center.