BCTC Den opens

A historic structure on BCTC's Newtown Campus, previously known as the "Laundry Building" has been rehabilitated for student intake services.
A historic structure that once served as the laundry facility for Eastern State Hospital has been rehabilitated and now provides a one-stop location for student intake services at Bluegrass Community and Technical College's Newtown campus. Now known as The Den, the renovated and expanded structure offers a new bookstore, meeting rooms, and offices for student services, including admissions, testing and financial aid. The building brings together old and new to create a hub for students, said Kentucky Community and Technical College System Chancellor Kris Williams at the building’s dedication.
“The Den is such a lovely merging of the old and the new: The history and the architecture of the past with the real need to support student learning in the future,” Williams said. The building features multiple office spaces for various student services. Potential students can meet with admissions counselors, and current students can meet with advisors in new offices. The building also has gathering spaces for students, as well as a testing center and bookstore. BCTC President Koffi Akakpo said the building will help students access more services on one campus, rather than having to go to multiple locations. “It’s a great thing for students,” Akakpo said. “It makes their journey easier. It takes away that barrier and it makes us efficient.”
The Eastern State Hospital building was built in 1906, and housed laundry services for the psychiatric hospital until the late 1980s, according to BCTC. In a land swap that was announced in 2008, the hospital moved to the University of Kentucky’s Coldstream Research Campus and BCTC began moving from its Cooper campus, located at UK, to the former hospital location.
“Many of our students are first-generation or single parents. There are people who may have been out of the workforce or they’ve just lost a job and need to plan for the future. There are students just graduating from high school,” Williams said. “Every barrier you can remove from their path pushes them that much closer to success.” Edith Cruz-Rodriguez, a first-generation student who graduated from BCTC in May, said the new building will make an impact on future generations who attend BCTC. “It won’t just be me, and it won’t just be us, it will be the future generations,” Cruz-Rodriguez said. “Our students are the future, and that’s what I envisioned here. That’s what The Den represents.”