The university has chosen to use the money needed to renovate the houses on Oak Street to benefit students, explained Barry Poynter, vice president of the office of finance and administration.
420 Oak Street, 426 Oak Street and 432 Oak Street were demolished on Jan. 17. The decision to demolish the buildings was announced during the Jan. 9 Board of Regents meeting.
President Michael Benson signed the memorandum authorizing the demolition on Nov. 5, 2018.
The university acquired the properties individually over the past 25 years.
420 Oak Street was purchased from Samuel and Esther Leung on Apr. 1, 1994. The property was purchased for $78,000.
A quitclaim deed records 426 Oak Street’s transfer from Eastern Kentucky University to the Commonwealth of Kentucky for the use and benefit of Eastern Kentucky University on Aug. 19, 2014. At the time of the deed transfer, the property had a Fair Market Value of $111,000 according to the quitclaim deed at Madison County Clerk’s Office.
A quitclaim deed is used when two entities own a property jointly, but one entity wants to give up or ‘quit’ its claim to the property, according to
432 Oak Street was purchased by the university for $115,000 from Joni Fields and Charles Burton Fields on June 4, 2009 according to the original deed. A deed of correction was filed later confirming the street address of the property.
The properties were used as rental housing units leased out to employees. They were supposed to only be temporary residences for employees until they were able to find more permanent housing, but some employees
remained in the units for several years.
“We would rather help our employees find a better place to live and get out of this business,” Poynter said.
The demolition was part of a several year process including the demolition of properties on Summit Street.
The university began transitioning out of renting to employees two to three years ago, Poynter said.
EKU did not get bids on the properties as they had the expertise within the university to determine the value of the properties, Poynter said. It was an internal process.
EKU will not save any money by demolishing the properties. Instead, EKU has chosen not to invest money in the properties.
The properties will be left as green space and allowed to return to their original state, said Poynter.