Donation To Build "Wildcat Coal Lodge" For UK Basketball Team

Thanks to Alan Lytle and Charles Compton, Kentucky Public Radio

Despite loud protests from environmental activists, University of Kentucky trustees Tuesday accepted a $7 million gift from a pro-coal group to build a new residence hall for the UK men’s basketball team.

It comes with the condition that the dormitory contain “coal” as its middle name.

It will be called Wildcat Coal Lodge and will replace the Joe B.Hall Wildcat Lodge built in 1978.

The 16-3 vote by trustees to accept the money was met by protests from some student activists at the meeting.

Danny Cotton is with UK’s Chapter of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, and Julia Leffing is with Mountain Justice and UK Green Thumb. Both said they had problems with UK accepting the money with such a large string attached.

“The way I look at it is we have the W.T. Young Library, I’m okay with that, but we don’t have the Peanut Butter Library. We have Blazer Hall, but we don’t have Ashland Oil Hall,” Cotton said.

UK officials say the new dorm will be only the second building on campus with the LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, a top environmental designation.