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WKU Regents hear 10-year housing master plan

WKU’s Student Life Foundation is embarking on 10-year plan to provide housing that is more in line with the style students prefer.

Housingplan

Proposed location of a new residence hall that will serve as “swing space” while other halls are replaced and remodeled.

Brian Kuster, WKU’s Vice President for Student Affairs and Executive Director of the Student Life Foundation, told WKU’s Regents that the plan was developed after an extensive survey of students’ preferences.

“We are not looking to increase the number of beds we offer, but plan to build to address the demand,” Kuster said. “Students are more interested in suite-style rooms and rooms with private baths over the more traditional community-style housing.”

The Student Life Foundation is a non-profit organization that owns and operates WKU’s residence halls. The Foundation’s strong financial position will allow it to implement the plan with no impact to the University’s budget, he said, adding “providing the style of housing students prefer makes WKU even more attractive to them.”

The first phase of the plan begins this fall when construction on a new hall begins along College Heights Boulevard, near Gilbert and Rodes Harlin halls. Kuster said the building, which will include 400 beds in suite-style rooms, will also include a dining facility and will open in the fall of 2018. The beds will be needed as Barnes-Campbell and Bemis-Lawrence halls are demolished and replaced.

Also this fall, work will begin on Northeast and Southwest halls to expand the lobbies from one to four stories, providing additional common space for studying and meetings.

Kuster said the plan will group housing in districts, with freshman concentrated in the southern end of campus, upperclassmen in the Valley and Northeast and Southwest halls designated as the Global Learning area for international students and students in the WKU Honors College.

“Housing at WKU remains in high demand, which allows the Student Life Foundation to more than cover our debt service and reinvest in our housing portfolio to meet students’ needs,” Kuster said.

Contact: Brian Kuster, (270) 745-2791.

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