Original president’s home receiving makeover

Rick Burton, of Bowling Green, replaces post to the deck of the Craig Alumni Center House Monday, Jan. 27, 2013. The Alumni Center House has been going through renovations since November. (Ian Maule/Herald)

Trey Crumbie

DSU is not the only building on campus receiving a makeover. 

Kerra Ogden, project manager of Capital Construction, said the Craig Alumni Center is being restored in the style of what the building was originally used for: a home.

Ogden said the building contained no central heating or air conditioning prior to the renovation, and it will be receiving a new HVAC system as well as an updated electrical system, new carpeting and a fresh coat of paint.

John Osborne, vice president for Campus Services and Facilities, said the building received very little maintenance prior to the renovation.

“Only very superficial work has been performed in there,” Osborne said.

Ogden said the house was constructed in 1931, but the last major update it received was a structure connecting the building with the College Heights Foundation in 1969.

The connecting structure was removed when the renovation started.

Ogden said the building has important historical connections to WKU.

“We had several presidents that lived in that building,” Ogden said.

The building served as the home for Presidents Kelly Thompson, Paul Garrett and Henry Hardin Cherry, the last of who died in the house.

Ogden said the renovation started in November. There are three phases to the project, which is currently at the end of its first stage. This portion consists of clearing out the building. The second and third phases will involve installing new infrastructure and putting the final touches on the building.

The staff that was housed in the Craig Alumni Center has since moved to the Augenstein Alumni Center and will stay there even after the restoration is complete. 

Ogden said the building will have multiple uses for the public once the renovation is finished, including a formal dining room and conference rooms. The building will house administrative offices as well, including President Gary Ransdell’s office.

Ransdell said the main reason for the renovation is to prevent the house from deteriorating. Because of its historical ties to the university, he likes the idea of his office being in the building.

After his move, his old office in the Wetherby Administration Building will be shared by various administrative departments.

Ogden said she plans for the renovation to be completed by this fall.