Barnes Campbell scheduled for demolition as First Year Village construction enters final phases

Photo of Barnes Campbell Hall where WKU student who choose to remain campus for quarantine stay.

Michael J. Collins


WKU announced that Barnes Campbell Hall will be demolished to make way for “a large park-like green space” beginning the first week of January.


This step would usher in the final stages of construction plans for the new First Year Village, according to a Dec. 2 update from WKU news.

Barnes’ demolition was scheduled for summer 2020, but administration delayed its removal in order to utilize the hall as a quarantine dorm for students who contracted or came in contact with COVID-19 during the Fall semester.

During the Spring 2021 semester, students needing to quarantine will be directed to campus cottages and Bates-Runner Hall, the update states.

According to the update, the greenspace which will take the place of Barnes will be an “ongoing project” that will see new additions over time.

The university expects to open the First Year Village during the Fall 2021 semester.

The Village consists of two buildings, “Normal Hall” with a capacity of 290 students and “Regents Hall” with a capacity of 375 students, the update said.

The buildings will be laid out in pod-style, with 25 students to each pod, and feature communal bathrooms and common areas.

Mike Reagle, Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement, said in the announcement that the building will help first-year students introduce themselves to the greater WKU community.

“Students will also have faculty, staff and student mentors to help them navigate through the first year and matriculate successfully to the second, setting them on a path to complete their programs in a timely manner,” Reagle said in the statement. “It is important to connect the time spent in the classroom with the 150 hours per week students spend outside of the classroom to ensure they take full advantage of the WKU experience.”

Students within these halls will be participating in living-learning communities. Facilities will include “public classrooms, study rooms, sound-proof music practice rooms, a dining location, and more,” according to the update.

In addition, the update states the design of the halls’ large windows will act as “lanterns” for the south side of campus at night.

Michael J. Collins can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @MJCollinsNews.