WKU Commons expected to open this fall with new dining options, study spaces


Debra Murray

On June 9, construction on the WKU Commons at Helm Library made progress. However, the Com- mons will not open until later this Fall due to delays.

Jake Jones, News reporter

The WKU Commons aims to bring food, social gatherings and learning opportunities under one roof.

Construction is still underway on the project at Helm Library and will open sometime this fall, Director of Media Relations Jace Lux said.

The Commons’ dining options will include Panda Express, Moe’s South- west Grill, Spencer’s Coffee and Rising Rolls.

It will also host rotating vendors that will switch out every six weeks. The first selection will be Tavolino’s Fresh Italian Fare, Ever Grains’ Food for Wellness and Barbecue District’s Fire It Up Grill.

The first floor of Helm, where WKU originally played basketball, will contain dining options and eating space. The second floor will hold Spencer’s Coffee and study spaces.

The project was projected to open just in time for the new fall semester to begin, but construction stalled due to the material and labor short- ages brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lux said these delays are like nothing the university has ever experienced before.

“The goal has always been to have the Commons open during the fall semester,” Lux said. “Unfortunately, these dynamics have caused an adjustment to the timeline for the Commons as well.”

Lux said construction is continuing daily to ensure that the Commons will be open for students during the fall semester.

President Timothy Caboni feels the project is in a good place despite the later than expected opening date.

“I’m excited about that, and really pleased with the WKU Restaurant Group’s creative work to bring food trucks to the top of the hill,” Caboni said in his meeting with the Herald Editorial Board.

With the addition of Spencer’s Coffee to the top of the hill, Caboni called coffee shops the “library of the future.”

“We were seeing many more students and faculty […] gathering at Spencer’s downtown than we were in the old library,” Caboni said.

While he is sad to see Garrett go, Caboni said he is excited that WKU decided to use its resources for a “crucially important space.”

Several food trucks have made their mark near the Commons area to make up for the closures of restaurants that will be housed in the Commons once construction is completed.

These food trucks will include Que Pasa Tacos, Cassady’s Real Smoke BBQ and the Pie Queen of Bowling Green.

“We’re excited to offer a variety of local favorites,” Lux said.

Students will be allowed to use their meal plan dollars, dining dollars, Big Red dollars and meal swipes to eat at the food trucks, as well as cash and credit cards.

News reporter Jake Jones can be reached at [email protected] wku.edu.