Admin Offices move around

Leah Brown

Within the past year, WKU has undergone many changes on campus with construction and renovations to buildings, the largest project being  Downing Student Union.  

One project that most students probably did not know about was the preservation and restoration of the original president’s home, the Craig Administrative Center, located across from the Kentucky Museum. 

President Gary Ransdell said the building is an important part of WKU’s history.

“Once the Alumni Association moved out and moved into the new Augenstein Alumni Center, this house began to deteriorate quickly,” Ransdell said. “We had to make a decision whether to restore it or tear it down, and we couldn’t let that happen.”

The home opened last week and was named after WKU’s original alumni director, Billy Craig.  It once was the home for the first three WKU presidents: Henry Hardin Cherry, Paul L. Garrett and Kelly Thompson.

“Henry Hardin Cherry died in this house,” Ransdell said.  

It now serves as an office to Ransdell, General Counsel Deborah Wilkins, President Assistant Julia McDonald and Freida Eggleton, who will work part-time and handle NCAA academic compliance duties. 

Wilkins said she enjoys the new office space.

“I have a soft spot for old houses anyway,” Wilkins said. “I’m just happy to see it fixed up and back the way it should’ve been.”

 With Ransdell’s old office vacant, Vice President for Public Affairs Robbin Taylor and colleagues moved to his former suite in the Wetherby Administration Building.

Ransdell said the first floor of the renovated building is open to be used by students, faculty and staff. The floor contains a library, living room, dining room and a small meeting room. Those interested in reserving space in the restored building can contact McDonald for arrangements. 

 The house was one of the original, historic buildings on campus built in 1931 by architect Brinton Davis, Ransdell said.

Davis also designed Van Meter Hall, Snell Hall, Helm Library, Gordon Wilson Hall, the Industrial Education Building, Schneider Hall, the Kentucky Building, Cherry Hall, the Heating Plant and the Colonnade. 

“He was the original campus master planner for the first 30 years of our history,” Ransdell said. “Most people don’t know the original campus master plan when the university was founded.”