University of Kentucky Student Center

Lexington, Kentucky

In 2013 CMTA began working with the University of Kentucky and Omni architects to upgrade the aging infrastructure for the most used building on the University Campus. It became apparent quickly that this was not the project that was needed for the student. What started as a $20 million donation from the Gatton family has ended into a new transformation of old and new and created a new 378,000 square foot center described as the “living room of the campus”.

The original 1938 gymnasium that Adolf Rupp would coach in has become a one of a kind fitness center for the northern campus and the original 1938 Student Center was retained for the grand ballrooms. The rest of the student center was reimagined into a high-tech space the catered to the needs of the students. This included a new cinema, blue box theatre, student government chambers, Barnes and Noble bookstore, and the largest food service facility on campus.

Through our collaborative First 30 design approach, we were able to achieve a 30% energy reduction in energy usage and create student experience through the use of audio visual and technology design that has become the standard for the University of Kentucky campus.

This is a remarkable tribute to students past, present and future. It celebrates the unique community and culture building experiences that will take place in this grand venue. I believe it will stand out for many years as a pinnacle student center experience among the finest in North America.

John Herbst, Executive Director of the Gatton Student Center

University of Kentucky