October 27, 2021

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Travel Finishes First

City commission voices reservations as UPIKE designs to change resort into campus housing

5 min read

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) – In 2019, the University of Pikeville approached the Pikeville City Commission with discussions about building a new dormitory on the school’s campus. The options were being nothing more than a initial phase as the metropolis informed WYMT it was ready for a formal response as the logistics ended up however getting labored out.

These options hardly ever produced their return to the fee. On Friday, even so, the college returned with a new prepare, informing the commission of programs to invest in the Hilton Garden Inn on Hambley Boulevard and switch the hotel into a new household constructing for pupils.

“When the town and UPIKE perform with each other, great things happen. But when the university goes out on its personal and does points like this, devoid of any understanding and no dialogue, no discussion at all, its challenging for us to function with them,” reported Metropolis Manager Philip Elswick.

Elswick said the fee was stunned by the announcement, fearful for the future of the city’s tourism if the 113 rooms are repurposed in an previously restricted land of lodging.

“We notice they will need a dorm and we want them to have a dorm, we want the college to mature, but undertaking that, by acquiring a resort and devastating our hospitality and tourism industry is not the way to do that,” Elswick mentioned.

He mentioned the hotel most likely noticed difficult periods all through the pandemic. But he said the options for revitalizing tourism put up-pandemic would not only aid the hotel, they count on it.

In a assertion from the metropolis, the fee highlighted the relevance of its partnership with UPIKE, saying most of the athletics at the university are supported by the town. Stating, “The City offers and maintains most of UPIKE’s sporting activities complicated. We gladly own, work and sustain the community parking garage the place most of UPIKE’s students and college park. We do this all because we comprehend the worth of high-excellent training selections for our community and we know UPIKE development is an important piece of Pikeville’s potential.”

But, in accordance to officials, the “go-it-on your own attitude” of the the latest move is not in the similar spirit of development and partnership they have grown to anticipate.

UPIKE representatives responded to the commission’s issues Monday, stating the conclusion by the college is just one more aspect of its prepare for progress.

“We believe that increasing UPIKE by adding new programming will provide substantial and sustained economic benefit to both equally the Metropolis and the region,” the statement go through. “Our rationale is simple we have a need for added residence corridor space which will enable UPIKE to remodel and use our other services for added packages.”

The assertion mentioned the reaction from the city arrived as a shock.

“We can fill the setting up with pupils every single night time. Our learners, 50% of whom appear from Jap Kentucky, will drive economic progress downtown that is major,” explained the statement. “Purchasing the hotel provides fast reduction for UPIKE’s housing needs and presents us the possibility and space on campus to develop our undergraduate, graduate and health care systems.”

Elswick, nonetheless, explained he would have most well-liked to help the college obtain another possibility that did not affect the city’s lodging. Which is why he miracles what transpired to the first programs to create a dorm setting up on the campus.

“That would be the goal that the lodge continue to be there and continue to be in location and that UPIKE would locate a way to handle this in a further way in a way which is superior for them, excellent for the neighborhood, and good for the people who function there,” Elswick claimed.

He reported he hopes there is a way the college will be inclined to go back again to the drawing board, as he concerns the loss of the far more than 100 rooms will be detrimental to the options for revitalizing tourism put up-pandemic.

“Losing that in the downtown place with shut proximity to the arena is just a huge blow to our tourism market,” he claimed. ”Not for a second did we prevent arranging and making ready for when that pandemic ended. And I imagine you are seeing the fruits of that. I mean the arena is packed we’ve acquired festivals planned and downtown functions going on. It is actually really hard for us to complete all those ambitions if we really do not have places to keep.”

The university’s statement said it will keep on to perform with the metropolis for the betterment of the spot, but it has nevertheless to be discussed how the two can operate jointly on the venture at hand. The specific designs and timeframe for the lodge renovation have not been created concrete.

The total statement from the City of Pikeville can be browse here:

See the total assertion from UPIKE underneath:

“The University of Pikeville has been current in the Metropolis of Pikeville for almost 132 years. We are very pleased of our house and our lengthy-standing romance with the Town, the healthcare facility, and the other corporations in town. We have labored diligently to lover with the Town on a wide variety of projects, which includes economic improvement, athletics amenities, the Appalachian Wi-fi Arena and a full host of other tasks.

We are amazed the City Commission queries our selection to purchase 1 of the 3 downtown motels and convert it into scholar housing. We think growing UPIKE by incorporating new programming will present significant and sustained financial advantage to the two the Metropolis and the area.

Our rationale is simple we have a require for further residence hall space which will make it possible for UPIKE to remodel and use our other facilities for extra systems. In addition, we can fill the creating with learners every evening. Our college students, 50% of whom occur from Eastern Kentucky, will drive financial growth downtown that is important. To do that, we must supply housing accommodations that are up-to-day, competitive, wonderful, and satisfy the needs of students and parents with regard to security and security.

Buying the lodge gives immediate reduction for UPIKE’s housing demands and provides us the possibility and space on campus to mature our undergraduate, graduate and professional medical plans.

We think the foreseeable future financial health and fitness of our area ought to rely on a numerous overall economy and we will continue to get the job done positively, as we always have, with the Town to transfer forward with that favourable eyesight.”

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