Steve Beshear joined in a ceremonial groundbreaking to unveil architectural plans to expand and renovate the Gatton College of Business and Economics. The project will be completely funded by private donations, continuing a trend to give the campus a face-lift without use of state General Fund dollars. So far, UK has raised more than $45 million for the business school update. The work will expand the building by 40 percent, adding a 500-seat auditorium, 20 classrooms, study rooms, a special events hall and an atrium in a new main entrance. Work is expected to be finished in the spring of 2016. The flurry of construction work at UK follows legislative action this year that authorized building projects at public universities across Kentucky. The selling points were that the projects will be paid for by the universities without any state money and will create thousands of construction jobs. “Today’s project demonstrates that our faith in you, and your confidence in the incredible support you’ve been able to tap into, were both well founded,” Beshear told UK officials at Friday’s event. “This project will enable the Gatton College to grow not just in size but more importantly, in quality.” The business school project is part of a sweeping construction program at UK that is putting up new residence halls along with plans for a new science building and renovations to the school’s football stadium. Projects underway or approved to start in coming months total about $540 million, UK President Eli Capilouto said. “When I arrived two years ago, it was clear that an otherwise vibrant campus was hindered by … tired facilities,” he said. The most expansive project is in student housing. UK has entered into an agreement with private developer Education Realty Trust with the goal of eventually building new dorms with a combined 9,000 beds at a cost of $500 million. The first new dorms opened this fall with about 600 beds combined, and more dorms are under construction now that will provide about 4,000 beds in the coming two years.
UK’s competitive mobile market will protect consumers claims Ofcom
The communications regulator on Friday published a consultation on increasing the proposed license fees for mobile spectrum. Ofcom said that it was the government who ordered for the consultation in 2010 to revise the annual fees paid by the mobile network operators for two spectrum bands 900 MHz and 1800. This may result in operators paying up to four times than the current annual fees. Some analysts are even concerned as hike in fees might see consumers taking the price hike brunt. Responding to the analysts concerns Ofcom said that it believes that the stiff competition among the four leading UK mobile operators should discourage mobile operating companies from putting up higher prices. Under the new proposal EE will have to pay 107.1m instead of 24.9m, Vodafone and O2 to pay 83.1m instead of 15.6m and Three UK will end up paying 35.7m instead of 8.3m. If implemented, the hike will be effective from 2014. Ofcoms spokesperson told Wired.co.uk that UK is one of the most competitive markets when it comes to mobile phones and this the factor that will ensure that consumers dont face the brunt of the price hike. Our proposed fees are in line with analysts expectations and with the amounts that operators pay for accessing spectrum in other countries, so should come as no surprise to the mobile companies said Ofcom. Ofcom has put the proposal under consultation ending December 19 and has said that if carriers have good enough argument against the price hike will listen to them. Tags