DUC renovations being planned

Mike Stunson

The Student Government Association is working to move ahead on the project to renovate Downing University Center.

SGA passed a resolution last month to support the renovations.

Six SGA members, as well as WKU administrators and architects for the project, have been meeting twice a week as part of the planning process for renovations.

SGA President Colton Jessie said planning is a lengthy process with no definitive timetable. Renovations are currently scheduled to start this fall.

“We are just taking it week by week, but there has been plenty of progress,” Jessie said.

Campus Improvements Chair Kaylee Egerer said the committee has talked about who in DUC needs more or less space. She said nothing has been set in stone yet.

“The bookstore definitely needs more space, but the place with the most space available is the fourth floor because we are looking to get rid of the bowling alley,” Egerer said. “We have also touched on the 24-hour study space which we are really in favor of.”

SGA had a forum last month to get ideas from students. Jessie said SGA is now starting to narrow down some of those ideas.

“We obviously we can’t do them all,” he said. “We are trying to figure out which ones we want that fit into our scheme.”

Project costs have been set for $49,128,545, and the resolution says students will pay a student fee of $70 per semester for 20 years to cover half of the cost. Both the project and the student fee must be approved by the Board of Regents.

Billy Stephens, SGA’s director of academic and student affairs, said the communication between the students and administrators on the committee has been great.

“It’s been 100 times better than I thought it would be,” he said. “Every time we have questions or want to voice our ideas, they are listening and willing to help. It’s the best-run committee I have been a part of.”

Egerer said the SGA members are the most listened to people in the meetings.

“We can speak up whenever we want and they are entirely engaged in us,” she said. “So that is really encouraging.”