As we continue our first-year implementation of Climbing to Greater Heights, I am pleased to share with you an exciting update.
As you may recall, during my Investiture ceremony last April I announced several new initiatives supporting our strategic plan, one of those being The WKU Commons. Made possible by a partnership between Aramark/Restaurant Group and our libraries, The WKU Commons at Helm Library is a key component of the University’s strategy to improve our students’ overall experience. Since that time, the Commons Steering Committee and architects Luckett & Farley and Gensler, with input from faculty, staff, and students, have worked together to create a design that transforms the Helm Library into a fresh and vibrant space.
Today, I am pleased to share this good work with the greater WKU community, starting with you. Here, https://www.wku.edu/commons/, you can view the latest renderings and schematic designs to gain a deeper understanding of what this reinvented space will add to our campus life and, most importantly, how it will support our students. Providing a nod to the past and propelling us into the future, this collaborative venue supports our student-centered efforts by not only offering our Hilltoppers a modern place to study but also a destination for them to engage in conversations with their faculty and peers. Additionally, it provides us with a flexible teaching site that enables active learning and also a home for our students, faculty, and staff to gather together, over meals, to form, shape, and share ideas. As you review the plans, my hope is that you begin to visualize the atmosphere and facilities provided by this intellectual hub at the top of the Hill and the ways in which it will benefit you in your institutional work.
The Helm Library will close at the end of our spring semester to begin its transformation, and the completely renovated space is planned to open spring 2021. As we celebrate milestones throughout this period, we will keep you informed and, at times, invite you to participate. I’m grateful for the work of the committee, architects, and all those who have provided input thus far.
Thank you for your tremendous support of Climbing to Greater Heights and for the work you do every day to advance and elevate both our University and our students. And for those headed out for Spring Break, safe travels!
Timothy C. Caboni