Construction on several facilities to continue during summer

Emma Collins

As the spring semester comes to a close and summer break nears, those overseeing construction on campus prepare to ramp up progress.

Bryan Russell, chief facilities officer, said WKU has a number of projects planned to begin over summer break.

“Planning, Design and Construction and Facilities Management departments have been hard at work preparing for the upcoming summer while continuing ongoing construction [and] renovation projects at WKU,” Russell said.

Russell said the exterior structure of Hardin Planetarium needs work, which is expected to be completed over the summer.

“This work will basically ensure that this iconic structure remains part of our WKU’s landscape for many years to come,” Russell said.

In addition to the planetarium, several other locations will undergo minor renovations. These renovations will include the restoration of the exterior of Helm Library and the replacement of several air handler units in various buildings.

“[The buildings] are planned for construction during our summer session when our campus is not as busy as to provide less disruption to our guests, students, faculty and staff,” Russell said.

Russell also said construction will continue on the Thompson Complex Center Wing, the new Confucius Institute building and the Gatton Academy.

The Thompson Complex will receive a new roof. Additionally, the fourth floor will be completely renovated, and other interior areas will undergo minor renovations.

The Confucius Institute building, which will house the Confucius Institute offices currently located in Helm, will also continue during the summer. The 7,000 square foot building is expected to be completed this summer before the start of the fall 2016 semester.

The construction on the academy is also expected to be completed before the start of the upcoming fall semester. The construction will allow for an increase in the number of students enrolled in the academy. Enrollment is expected to increase from 120 students to 200 students.

On Tuesday, the university held the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Ogden College Hall. Russell said he expects construction of the building that will replace the Thompson Complex North Wing to begin soon.

“[The] project is scheduled to be completed in December 2017,” Russell said.

Gary Meszaros, assistant vice president of Business and Auxiliary Services, said any projects planned by the department will also continue. Because Business and Auxiliary Services does not receive state funding, its projects will be able to begin.

“The project is moving ahead, and site work is really taking shape,” Meszaros said.

Meszaros also said Business and Auxiliary Services is currently working with Planning, Design and Construction to discuss the construction of a new parking structure.