The Suite Life: Students adjust to living in Kentucky Street apartments

Seth Hutchins

While some students are living in the confines of the dorms, others are enjoying the freedoms of apartment life.

The new campus apartments, a part of Housing and Residence Life, opened on Kentucky Street earlier in the semester. 

Vinegrove senior Jonathan Travis was one of the students who had to adjust to apartment living. Earlier in the year, one of Travis’s windows had to be replaced. The window had been covered in plywood when he moved in August. 

Travis said HRL wasn’t able to replace the window earlier because of the type of glass that had to be used, but said he was frustrated with the time it took to replace it.

“It shouldn’t take a month for the glass to come in,” he said.

He said he had issues with his shower failing to drain properly but HRL was quick to fix the problem.

Missing windows and broken shower drains aren’t the only issues HRL has dealt with this semester.

HRL Director Brain Kuster said there had also been a recall for the lights on the ceiling fans installed in the apartments.

Despite the trouble, Travis said he really has enjoyed the apartment so far.

He finds the apartments quite comfortable and enjoys having access to the apartments’ parking structure.

“Overall, it’s been a great experience,” said Travis. 

Louisville senior Celia Baker said her experience had been smoother than since she’s moved into the apartments on a housing scholarship.

“They’ve just been awesome,” she said. “They are way better than the dorms.”

Like Travis, Baker enjoys having guaranteed parking in the parking structure. She said though the bar stools were too tall, she is especially fond of the granite countertops located in the kitchen.

Baker said the apartments might even be too good for students.

“They’re probably better than what students deserve,” she said.

The apartments are full of amenities that aren’t in the dorms. Each apartment features two bedrooms, two private bathrooms, living room, and a kitchen. Apartments are also furnished with appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers, and bedroom and living room furniture. 

A door buzzer security system has been installed in the apartments to ensure unwanted guests do not enter the building. Residents get into the apartments using their key while nonresidents must call a resident using the door buzzer and ask to be let in, according to apartment coordinator Minnette Huck.

Kuster said the apartments have been well-received so far.

“The reactions from students have been great,” said Kuster. “We took a lot of suggestions that students have given us over the years about what they were wanting.”

He said he’s also received positive comments from people in Bowling Green who believe the area around the apartments is much improved.

Plans to build the apartments were made by the Student Life Foundation, the organization that is responsible for maintaining dorms, back in 2010.

Kuster, who is also the executive director of Student Life Foundation, said the Student Life Foundation funded the project using money they had earned through student housing fees, which were built in about 10 months. Although Student Life Foundation was responsible for building the apartments, Kuster said the new parking garage was not owned by the university.

“It’s owned by a nonprofit entity that came from the downtown redevelopment corporation,” he said.

The Warren County Downtown Redevelopment Authority, which is a group dedicated to revitalizing downtown Bowling Green, is responsible for the garage. Kuster said the authority met with university administration about building a parking structure close to campus. They group had originally planned to build the parking structure near the SKyPAC Performing Arts Center.

In the end, both parties decided to have the parking structure built next to the apartments so it could benefit them both, he said. 

Student Life Foundation is currently planning on building more apartments in the future. These apartments are being built to house graduate and nontraditional students, though Kuster says some upperclassmen would live there as well.

“We want to be able to provide housing options for nontraditional students because that’s a part of the university community that we’re currently not serving,” he said.

Student Life Foundation is aiming to open the new apartments fall 2014.