Faculty, staff and students in WKU’s College of Education and Behavioral Sciences will be starting the new year in a new home.
Gary A. Ransdell Hall will be dedicated officially this spring, but the new building will open Jan. 3 and will be fully functional when spring classes begin Jan. 24.
“From the perspective of the University, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get a very stately and impressive building that captures the work we’re doing,” said Dr. Sam Evans, dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. “This building sends a positive and powerful message to the public about the importance of the work we do in our college in the areas of education, counseling, school administration and psychology.”
The 120,000-square-foot, $35 million facility features a classical architectural look, celebrates WKU’s rich history of education, creates a state-of-the-art learning environment and incorporates numerous sustainable design elements.
“Everybody in the college is excited about the move,” Dr. Evans said. “A lot of people have done a lot of good work to make this project a reality.”
The facility was designed by RossTarrant Architects of Lexington. A&K Construction of Paducah served as general contractor.
“The process of taking the building from concept to reality has been truly collaborative between the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, the consultant team and the general contractor,” said project manager Ben Johnson, assistant director of WKU’s Planning, Design and Construction. “A great deal of time and effort has been expended to provide the college with a facility that will allow continued excellence in their respective field of education for decades to come.”
The building is designed to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification by utilizing low-flow plumbing fixtures, recycled materials, regional materials, highly insulated walls, highly efficient heating and cooling, native plantings, reflective roof, reflective coating on parking lot, open green space near the facility, energy efficient lighting and abundance of natural light.
“We feel extremely fortunate to have played a role in providing this new facility to meet WKU’s needs,” said Jeffrey C. Stivers, AIA, principal for RossTarrant Architects. “While we are certainly proud of its design as modern, flagship facility for the university, we are thrilled by its efficiency both from an energy consumption perspective and from its construction cost. WKU got a heck of a building for its investment.”
More than 200 faculty and staff will be moving from Tate Page Hall into the new facility. The move will occur in two phases with one group (including the dean and department heads) on Dec. 21 and a larger group (including other administrators, faculty and staff) on Jan. 12.
More than 3,000 students are served by the college’s academic programs, including elementary education, which is WKU’s largest undergraduate program.
The building includes classrooms, administrative and faculty offices, conference areas, media resource center, auditorium, research laboratories and clinical space for literacy, psychology and counseling, and will house the international headquarters of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children. The facility will have new furnishings and the latest technology in classrooms and labs.
“This new facility is designed to enhance the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences’ prominence in teaching, research, service and economic development as our college prepares the lifelong educators of tomorrow,” said John Osborne, vice president of Campus Services and Facilities.
Dr. Evans has heard positive comments locally and around the state and has heard from other universities that are interested in learning more about the design and construction.
“People are taking notice of the image this building conveys and are getting a feel for how nice a facility we’re going to have and what it will do to create a positive learning environment,” he said. “They are excited for WKU and for our college.”
Contact: Sam Evans, (270) 745-4662.