Construction on the Hill may cause commute changes


Students walk toward Cherry Hall on the first day of classes at WKU on Aug. 25 in Bowling Green. Mike Clark/HERALD

Michael Crimmins, Investigative reporter

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with new information. 

With the fall semester set to begin on Monday, incoming and returning students will see construction still under way near the top of the Hill.

Students heading to the hilltop will be met with no shortage of construction and street closure especially at Colonnade Drive and Hilltop Drive, where Garrett Conference Center stood, but Bryan Russell, chief facilities officer, said parking lots and sidewalks will be finished by the start of the semester. 

Bryan Russell said this is a “multi-phase” project that was laid out in the university’s Master Plan, the campus’ ten-year plan for the direction the campus can grow. 

Russell said students, heading to Cherry Hall and other buildings on top of the Hill, should not notice a major disruption to their commutes due to the construction. There is a “man-made sand walkway” that is set up between Helm Library and Diddle Park, Russel said, that is the only major difference students might be affected by.

“A segment between WKU Commons and Diddle Park or behind College High Hall has been provided using manufactured sand and installed fencing for pedestrian safety allowing for a direct route to Ogden Campus.

According to Russell, phase one of construction was completed on Aug. 15 with most sidewalks and lots being completed or near completion. 

“Sidewalks have been completed allowing our students to have walkways to Potter Hall, Van Meter Hall, Gordon Wilson Hall and College High Hall. Now we’re in stage two of construction.”

He did not get into specifics about the construction projects involved in phase two, but he said there was no shortage of things the university wanted to accomplish, including building a “green area” at the colonnades and a roundabout.

Currently, Russell said, safe passageways are set up to help facilitate smooth foot traffic while construction is underway.

“I’m planning on giving presentations tomorrow and Thursday to tell [volunteers] where to tell students which paths to take…and give directions,” Russell said. “The university employs volunteers involved in giving directions, it’s something we’ve done for years.”

In addition to volunteers offering directions to students,the Hilltop Pedestrian Circulation map, linked in the email, shows students the safe pathways they can take to get to buildings at the top, like Cherry and Van Meter Halls.

During this semester into spring 2023, Russell said, the university will be doing a lot of construction to complete the Master Plan including the “Hilltop Circulation project” mentioned in the transportation’s email sent on Aug. 8.

News reporter Michael Crimmins can be reached at
[email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @michael_crimm