College of Education and Behavioral Sciences News
WKU breaks ground on new Gordon Ford College of Business building
- WKU News
- Wednesday, June 14th, 2023
Western Kentucky University broke ground Wednesday for a new state-of-the-art building to house the Gordon Ford College of Business.
Speaking at the groundbreaking, WKU President Timothy C. Caboni highlighted the importance of the new building to the university. “It is a historic day in the life of the Gordon Ford College of Business and our beloved WKU,” he noted. “I have often said that a great college of business needs a great place in which to do business. This new facility is that great place and will enrich business instruction and our university in a number of important ways.”
The 113,000-square-foot Collegiate Georgian-style building will be built on the site formerly occupied by Tate Page Hall and fulfills an important component of WKU’s 2021-2031 Campus Master Plan.
A Steering Committee, led by Gordon Ford College of Business Dean Christopher Shook, worked closely with architects from Gensler (Chicago) during the past two years to design a space that will elevate business education at WKU.
“As a first-generation college student, I know college transforms a person’s life,” said Dr. Shook. “At GFCB, we are in the business of changing students’ lives, and in doing so, we change our community and our state. This groundbreaking represents the beginning of more lives changed.”
The project is made possible by the Kentucky General Assembly. As part of House Bill 1, in April 2022, legislators approved funding for a new Gordon Ford College of Business, providing $74.4 million from the state in the 2022-24 budget. A number of officials, including Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman; President Pro Tempore of the Kentucky Senate David Givens; Kentucky State Representative Michael Meredith; Kentucky Senate Majority Whip Mike Wilson; Kentucky State Representative Shawn McPherson; Kentucky State Representative Kevin Jackson; Kentucky State Representative Robert Duvall; Bowling Green Mayor Todd Alcott; Bowling Green City Commissioners Melinda Hill and Sue Parrigin; and Beth Brinly, Deputy Secretary of the Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet, were on hand for Wednesday’s groundbreaking.
“It is an amazing day to be here on the Western Kentucky University campus. We have a lot to celebrate,” Lieutenant Governor Coleman said. “As we build on our historic economic momentum in Kentucky, we all acknowledge that investments like this are necessary. When we all work together, we can achieve big things and that’s exactly what’s happened here because of the leadership of Governor Beshear and legislative leaders like Senator Givens and Representative Meredith as well as those joining us in the crowd today. We are breaking ground on the first building funded by the state at Western Kentucky University since 2014.”
The new Gordon Ford College of Business building will feature a modern, flexible, open-space interior that supports active learning, academic innovation, curriculum enhancement, and a strong community. Students will have access to resources that prepare them for careers in business, including a virtual reality simulation lab, Bloomberg trading terminals, a one-stop-shop Student Success Center, and a Center for Financial Success. The spaces will more uniformly serve the needs of students and elevate the teaching and research of the faculty and staff.
The Gordon Ford College of Business has experienced significant enrollment increases in recent years, and the new building will support that ongoing enrollment growth while celebrating the history of business education in Kentucky. The facility will also help enhance the student experience by offering amenities like a food and coffee shop.
In addition to the benefits it will provide to campus, President Caboni also recognized the role the building will play in strengthening the region’s business community. “Fostering additional partnerships with regional business leaders, this space increases our role in the development of the business community and workforce by offering training and credentialing opportunities and spaces intentionally created to further networking and job placement opportunities for our students,” he shared.
Construction work will be performed by Messer Construction, and the project is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2025. View the latest renderings and schematic designs at www.wku.edu/businesscollege.
Contact: Jace Lux, (270) 745-4295
Western Kentucky University prides itself on positioning its students, faculty and staff for long term success. As a student-centered, applied research university, WKU helps students expand on classroom learning by integrating education with real-world applications in the communities we serve. Our hilltop campus is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, which was recently named by Reader’s Digest as one of the nicest towns in America, just an hour’s drive from Nashville, Tennessee.