WKU’s Bemis Lawrence Hall to begin demolition

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.-Western Kentucky University’s campus is getting a bit of a makeover, and it’s all to improve life for students, though it has been met with some push back.

Bright and early on Friday work will begin on Bemis Lawrence Hall, a former residence building on campus.

Around 9 a.m. construction crews will begin demolishing the 52 year old building. Bemis Hall was built in 1966 and named after Bemis Lawrence, who was the former Vice Chairman of the WKU Board of Regents.

It’s one of several demolition projects taking place on WKU’s campus in order to make room for the First Year Village, which will feature new housing.

The project has faced criticism however, mostly due to its cost.

WKU’s Executive Director of Housing and Dining had this to say to critics.

“We have to keep up with what other universities are doing in order to recruit and retain the best students. We’ve got to have good facilities to do that. The buildings that we’re bringing down are 40 year old buildings that have kind of a shelf life of 40 years. It would cost us more to renovate them then to just go head and start over from scratch,” said Mike Reagle.
The First Year Village will cost $48 million, according to WKU’s website.

The demolition of Bemis Hall should be completed within 90 days, and donuts will be offered to those who show up Friday morning to watch it begin.