By Rae Hodge–
On Monday, U of L officials dug their first shovelful of a $31 million property development on the Belknap campus. The project will includes a new road and two bridges which will provide access to a 39-acre area called Belknap Engineering and Applied Sciences Research Park.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet provided nearly $25 million in funding for the project, which will be available July 1.
The U of L Foundation, which provided over $6 million in funding, said they hope to start construction in the fall and complete it in 2014. U of L President James Ramsey said that the research park may take 15-20 to fully develop.
“This road project will ultimately lead to jobs and an expansion of research,” said Ramsey in a release from the university. “It will be like opening a door to a huge area on the Belknap Campus that is ripe with potential.”
“The Belknap Engineering and Applied Sciences Park is precisely the kind of project that will grow and develop innovative technology applications that will shape our future economy, and I’m looking forward to the positive impact it will make in the region,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “We are proud to invest in this project.”
Situated between the J. B. Speed School of Engineering on the north and Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on the east, much the area U of L was formerly owned by Kentucky Trailer. The property was purchased by the University of Louisville Foundation in 2008.
Preliminary plans for the research park include providing additional facilities for the J.B Speed School of Engineering and offices for researchers. Private companies that want to build a partnership with the engineering school will also be provided with offices.
Photo courtesy of bridgeconsultinginc.com