​WKU opens new apartments to address high housing demand

WKU students hangout in front of the new apartments on Kentucky Street on Monday Aug. 11, 2014. JEFF BROWN/HERALD

Aaron Mudd

A large crowd of WKU students and employees attended the ribbon cutting of the WKU Apartments Monday at 1355 Kentucky St. After a short ceremony, guests toured the new $19.5 million building, which features 127 units.

Nashville, Tenn. senior Quinna Hogan lives in the apartments and spoke briefly during the ceremony. Hogan said she appreciates the homey feeling she gets from living there.

“It gives you that comforting feeling, making it your home,” she said.


Hogan also expressed her hopes for the future.

“Hopefully this building will continue to grow a legacy of providing a home away from home atmosphere for future Hilltoppers,” she said.

Hogan said the apartments provide several common areas for residents, such as a gym on the second floor, a movie theater on the third, a study room on the fourth and a community room on the ground floor.

President Gary Ransdell also spoke at the ceremony and thanked many contributors for their efforts.

“Congratulations to all of our Residence Life staff, to all the RAs and residence hall directors across campus that have been a part of this particular project and most of all, thank you to the Student Life Foundation board which is continuing to shepherd this high-finance but very important aspect of Western Kentucky University,” Ransdell said.

At the close of the ceremony, Brian Kuster, executive director of Housing and Residence Life, thanked several individuals and contracting companies for their help with the project. He described how the design process adapted to increasing student housing demand.

“We were originally going to do individual buildings,” Kuster said. “That was going to house 127 students. After we built the apartments across the street, we quickly realized that there was a high demand for apartments that students could rent from the university. So we doubled the capacity here. It now houses 227 total beds.”

Minnette Ellis, apartment coordinator and Living Learning Community coordinator for HRL, said resident students include juniors, seniors, graduate students and non-traditional students.

Ellis said the current waiting list for fall 2015 includes 127 students. She expects the list to shorten because of students losing interest by the time the waiting list, which is now closed, becomes available again in October.