Regents get update on construction progress

Caitlin Carter

At Friday’s Board of Regents meeting, John Osborne, vice president for Campus Services and Facilities, updated regents on construction projects on campus.

New music building


Recently, workers broke ground near the fine arts center for the new 26,000-square-foot music building, Osborne said.

“This is an incredibly difficult site to put a building,” Osborne said.

President Gary Ransdell said large musical groups will be able to perform there once it’s finished.

The construction should be completed by spring 2012, Osborne said.

High voltage infrastructure project

The high voltage infrastructure project, which has already begun, will narrow Normal Drive toward State Street, said Bryan Russell, director of Planning, Design and Construction.

The $3 million project will also include new sidewalks, which will improve pedestrian safety, Osborne said.

WKU will leave the site safer than when it began, he said.

DUC Auditorium renovations

DUC opened 40 years ago this month, and the theater, previously known as DUC Theater, began to show its age.

“It was quite embarrassing to have people go in there,” Osborne said.

With about $1.2 million spent in renovations, it will reopen to a new name – DUC Auditorium – and have improved seating.

Gas-fired boiler

An additional gas-fired boiler will be installed on campus this spring, Osborne said.

WKU will get all of its steam from natural gas boilers once this boiler is in place, he said.

The coal burners were installed in 1956 and 1960, Osborne said.

Block 12

Activity in Block 12 of the Tax Increment Financing District for the parking garage is set to begin this week, Osborne said.

The Kentucky Street gravel lot has been closed for project construction. It was a student tailgating area, said Colton Jessie, student regent and SGA President.

Ransdell said additional space for student tailgating needs to be created.

Sigma Chi house

Recently, Sigma Chi fraternity and WKU reached an agreement so the fraternity can start building its house, Osborne said.

Russell said the Sigma Chis purchased property owned by WKU on Center Street for the new house.

With all of the plans already completed, announcements about ground breaking will take place on Homecoming, Russell said.

College of Education building

The College of Education building, which should be finished by January, will be named after Ransdell.

Ransdell said he’s “humbled and grateful” to be honored in this way.