Gatton Academy construction nears completion

Photo by John Reecer/WKU Herald.

John Reecer

Construction on the expansion of Gatton Academy at WKU will be completed in the next couple of weeks as Chief Facilities Officer Bryan Russell said students will be moving in on August 12.

The $10 million expansion project includes each wing of the second, third and fourth floors adding four bedrooms, and the first floor will add a total of 10 new bedrooms.

With the increase in bedrooms on the first floor, the offices of the Gatton Academy and the Center for Gifted Studies will extend outward following the renovations.

“This project is really special because it’s Bill Gatton’s family that has provided funding to expand extremely successful junior and senior gifted and talented students,” Russell said. “We usually have 120 students and this project is going to allow the university to grow to 200 beds.”

Russell said that the academy will see 160 students this year and next year will see another increase in students bringing the total amount of students at Gatton Academy to around 200.

The new boys’ wing is named the Harry W. Gatton Sr. Wing and the girls’ wing is named the Edith Martin Gatton Wing.

“Typically it’s half female and half male students that are separated within this facility,” Russell said. “We have had high-quality work on this project. It’s a beautiful building. I will be excited to be at the dedication later on in the year.”

According to, another addition to the building is a second-floor multipurpose room that will be able to seat all 200 students. This space provides a room for students to study on their own and during study hours.

The academy was originally established in 2007 and was Kentucky’s first residential high school for gifted and talented junior and seniors.