First phase of Barnes Campbell Hall demolition at WKU

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- On Wednesday the first bite of the demolition of Barnes Campbell Hall took place.

The building had to come down in order to create space for the First Year Learning Village. In the middle where the building once was will be a large green space that connects the mini community. 

“It’ll be a big lawn with trees and grass and things like that for students to hang out in which will pull the whole center of the campus together,” said Mike Reagle, assistant vice president of WKU Student Engagement. 

It has to come down now because both of the new buildings on either side will open this coming August. 

“The buildings are built along the concept of having 25 students per pod. And each of those pods will have a living learning type of feel to it that will connect to academic programs and have faculty that will be engaged in those communities. It’ll give students the opportunity to kind of learn outside of the classroom. They spend a certain amount of time in the classroom but this will be kind of a link back to their academic programs,” said Reagle.  

The Barnes Campbell Hall was the COVID-19 dorm first semester for students who had to quarantine. 

“Institutions around the country, some were poised for situations like this, some were not, some had to scramble to find places for students to stay. We were fortunate, this building was slated to come down, we held the demolition to keep the space available to us,” said Ethan Logan, vice president for WKU Enrollment Management and Student Experience. 

But with the demolition, many parents and students have asked, what will they do in the second semester?

Staff say the new hall next to Barnes Campbell will be the next COVID-19 dorm, and says it’s crucial to have this space. 

“What is good about what we have here is for those students who can’t return home or it would be a burden to return home, then we have space on campus for them to be housed, so they won’t have to interrupt their schedule of instruction,” said Logan.