Western Kentucky University officials give inside tour of Commons project

BOWLING GREEN Ky.- Come Fall 2021, the Helm Library at Western Kentucky University will have a new look and a new name.

The Commons at helm library will feature new hangout and study lounges, and dining options for students and staff to enjoy.

On Thursday, university officials invited WNKY to check out the progress coming along on the $35 million project. Right now, the building is being cleared out to make room for the new resources.

“We are doing some selective demo right now and getting ready to start building it back,” said Western Kentucky University Chief facilities officer Bryan Russell.

The building has served multiple purposes since it first opened. Before becoming a library, it was a gym in the 1930s.

University officials like director of media relations Bob Skipper said the Commons will pay homage to the building’s history.

“It will contain a throwback to its early days as a physical education building. It’s a neat way to take part of our past and make it a major part of our future,” Skipper said.

Speaking of the future, the times keep changing, creating the need for an up to date learning experience, which is another goal of this project. Something former students wish they had.

“When I was here, there were no communal study spaces. Having the options in this building I think will be a huge benefit to the students and will be a draw for prospective students as well,” Said WKU alumni Clinton Lewis.

A building rich with hilltopper history, one that school officials say will be filled with all new experiences. A way to remember the old and celebrate the new.