LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday to mark the beginning of the newest building on the Newtown Campus, a renovation of the historic Eastern State Hospital laundry building.
“The Den will repurpose and restore an icon of the past into a place where students can start the pathway to their better lives,” said Dr. Koffi Akakpo, BCTC president. “We are excited to continue growing our Newtown Campus and providing a vibrant center of learning and gathering for our students and the community.”
With the completion of the Science Education Center in 2018, BCTC determined that a facility to house a variety of services for students was needed. It was further decided that the home for those services should be in the heart of the growing Newtown Campus, offering a state-of-the-art facility while preserving history.
Renovations to this historic site will encompass almost 10,000 square feet of the existing structure, according to BCTC.
An addition of 9,500 square feet will be constructed to incorporate services for students including admissions, financial aid, advising, assessment, registrar and bursar, according to the school.
Additional functions that have been identified for relocation to this facility are a campus bookstore, Grab and Go Food Service/dining area, community history gallery and reception area, and an 85-90 seat auditorium. Because the college intends this to be a gathering place for students and the community, it is named The Den, according to BCTC.
“BCTC has had a big impact in my family. My siblings went here, and I came for the financial savings but stayed because this is a great college,” said Seth Spears, Student Government Association (SGA) president. “I, and my fellow students, are very excited about The Den.”
The total project budget for this renovation/addition is $6 million. It is scheduled to open summer 2021.