UK students want more social interaction, board told; construction totals $2.7 billion

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – No one doubts the coronavirus pandemic has changed the landscape of college campuses.

And to try to help their students get through it, University of Kentucky staff have monitored the mental, physical, academic, and social health of students living in dorms through a variety of surveys.

The numbers are designed to give experts constant feedback on how students are doing and ways to make things better.

In some cases, the surveys have identified students who were struggling and needed help.

Overall, the results from more than 4,700 students have shown the young adults are mostly holding their own. But they do need more interaction.

“The students are telling us they want more social interaction, need more social interaction. This data has helped us brainstorm on ways to do that and that is also safe,” administrator Trisha Clement-Montgomery told the UK Board of Trustees Tuesday during a detailed presentation about what the college is doing to help students.

As of now, more than 90 percent of students in dorms say they intend to return in the fall.

Meanwhile, anyone who drives around the University of Kentucky campus knows it’s been happening.

But they may not realize exactly how much.

In less than a decade, the university has seen $2.7 billion worth of construction. The 177 projects include everything from dorms and research labs to athletic facilities. New streets and sidewalks, improved transportation and better safety all have been part of it.

The UK trustees also got an update on the work during their meeting Tuesday. And they authorized $28 million more to finish the Healthy Kentucky Research Building.

Besides that, the university has 14 projects totaling $415 million expected to be completed during the next year.

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