LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — The University of Kentucky plans to purchase the Lexington Theological Seminary, which is adjacent to its campus.
The move would allow UK the option to expand its campus along South Limestone.
UK President Eli Capilouto told the Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/10w8D2b ) that the $13.5 million purchase will benefit the school.
"When high-quality space adjacent to your campus becomes available, the responsible thing is to explore the possibilities," UK President Eli Capilouto said. "The Lexington Theological Seminary space represents great potential for the university as we grapple with how to grow and manage within our existing footprint."
The seminary says it no longer needs its 7-acre property since nearly all of its courses are offered online. It plans to move to a different location.
"Change for every academic institution is inevitable, and change has been our mantra," seminary President Charisse Gillett said Monday. "This is another step in our transformation and revitalization."
UK's first use for the seminary campus will be as "swing space" for the nearby Gatton School of Business, which is beginning a project to renovate and expand.
Bob Wiseman, UK's vice president for facilities, it would probably continue in that role for possibly up to a decade as UK works on construction and renovation projects.
"With the amount of building we are doing, we have a great need for swing space," he said. "This is very helpful for short-term."
The seminary property offers 131,000 square feet of built space. That includes four buildings with classrooms in addition to apartments, townhomes, a maintenance structure and a parking lot.
Wiseman says the structures on campus are in good shape.
Gillett said Lexington Theological Seminary was founded in 1865 as part of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). It has been at its current location on Limestone for 63 years.
Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.com