‘First Year Village’ to become reality on WKU campus in fall 2020

Future WKU students have something to look forward to! Two new residence halls are set to break ground in the upcoming months. 

The ‘First Year Village’, an idea by WKU President, Dr. Timothy Caboni, is set to become a reality in the fall of 2020.

The ‘First Year Village’ will consist of two new residence halls, green space, and a variety of amenities for Freshman.

“Our ‘First Year Village’ will actually take the place of Barnes-Campbell and Bemis-Lawrence halls, which were scheduled to be replaced anyway. We will replace those with two new buildings that will have a pod style configuration, where up to 25 students will be in a pod.” says Bob Skipper, with Western Kentucky University. 

The residence halls will provide living space for over 400 freshman.

The goal is to give students a place to combine living and learning.

Upper classmen will mentor freshman students in hopes to increase retention rates, graduation rates, and build a sense of community.

“I think the students are excited about it. They like the idea of the additional amenities, the smaller groups of students that are paired together and form kind of a living-learning community.” adds Skipper. 

Students we spoke with think the ‘First Year Village’ project is a good idea.

“I think that will be awesome. I wish they already had it. I would have loved to have lived in it. I like Bemis, It’s nice, but it’s a little old.” says Francesca Gerbic, a freshman at WKU.

“Overall, I think it just makes for a positive experience for them because they will get to talk to people in their own major. They will also all be freshman, so they will all get to experience this together.” says Zayne Priddy, a junior at WKU.

The project costs nearly 48 million dollars and is being funded by the Student Life Foundation.

The ‘First Year Village’ is set to be completed in two years and will replace Bemis-Lawrence and Barnes-Campbell residence halls, which are both over 50 years old.