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Hilltopper Hall is a new residence hall located in the "Valley" parallel to College Heights Blvd. and next to the Kentucky Museum. In addition to 400 state-of-the-art residential beds, The new hall will provide spaces that will enhance the residential life experience of the WKU student community. Hilltopper Hall is scheduled to open to all classifications of students in the Fall of 2018. The estimated project cost is $40.9 million.
Project Photos & Renderings
Hilltopper Hall Construction Webcam
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About Each Space
The lobby is located on the Northeastern corner of the building, welcoming guests/students from College Heights Blvd. and the "Valley," as well as from the new service drive that will accommodate ADA access, move-in days, and other special events. Located between the ground-floor Residential Commons and the Dining Hall, the lobby will serve several functions:
Provide public access through the building from the Valley to University Heights
Provide public access to the Dining Hall while allowing Residential Commons to be secured
Provide public access to Residential Commons while allowing Dining Hall to be secured
Serve as overflow space during residence hall move-in days
Serve as queuing space for dining hall during peak hours
Serve as special event space for either Dining Hall or Residence Hall
Provide public restrooms for visitors to the building
The Dining Hall is located on the West Wing of the building. It is accessed by the public through the Lobby, and may be secured from the lobby during non-operational hours. The layout for the Dining Hall is being developed by the WKU Restaurant Group. Windows along the north elevation provide constant daylight and windows along the south elevation admit daylight and views to the terrace and the Valley beyond. A service elevator connects the Dining Hall to back of-house spaces located on the story below the dining hall, which will include loading dock and waste management facilities, as well as storage space. The Dining Hall is expected to accommodate between 100-150 students, will include a "grab and go" concept for students to take food to other parts of the building, and may also accommodate special events.
The Residential Commons are located on the ground floor of the building. The commons are separated from the lobby so that access to the commons may be restricted to building residents or opened to non-residents during certain hours. The Residential Commons includes the following spaces: reception desk, package storage room, vertical circulation, staff offices, laundry, gaming lounge, study rooms, makerspace, open study lounge, and recreation lounge.
Located within the Residential Commons adjacent to the Commons entry and vertical circulation, the reception desk allows residence life staff to restrict access to the residential portions of the building. A window to the lobby allows building visitors to ask for assistance without having to enter the Residential Commons. This window will be closed when the reception desk is not staffed. The reception desk is located adjacent to the package storage room, so that the person staffing the desk can retrieve packages for residents.
Package Storage Room
Located adjacent to reception desk for ease of access, the package room includes shelving for storing packages delivered to the building. The exterior wall of the package room includes one mailbox for each residential unit.
Primary vertical circulation for the building is located directly opposite the reception desk, and includes two elevators and one stair. Access to both is limited to people with access to the residential commons. On the upper levels the stair opens directly onto the elevator lobby as well as the common room. Two additional stairs are located at the ends of the building and provides emergency egress to the public way.
There are two staff offices, one opposite the reception area and package room and one adjacent to the staff apartments.
The laundry room is located adjacent to the staff office, in close proximity to the elevators for convenience to residents with vision glass to provide visual communication between the laundry and adjacent study lounge. Dryer venters are exhausted below floor.
A video gaming lounge located adjacent to the package room encourages students to leave their rooms and game with peers in a social setting.
Several closed study rooms of various sizes are located in the residential commons to provide space for group study and project work with acoustical separation from the rest of the residential commons. Study rooms feature glass walls to admit light from exterior windows into building interior are well as visual communication with adjacent spaces to promote interaction.
A makerspace is located between two of the study rooms, and offers opportunities for exploration, fabrication, and education. The makerspace is larger than the study rooms, includes moveable furniture, and storage for project work.
Open Study Lounge
The open study lounge features a mix of hard and soft furniture that students can configure in a variety of ways for multiple uses. Walls at the ends of the spaces offer opportunities for video screens for educational or recreational use.
An open space at the end of the residential commons provides space for such amenities as a pool table, foosball, air hockey, or table tennis.
Two staff apartments are included on the ground floor: a two-bedroom Coordinator's apartment and a one-bedroom Assistant Residence Hall Director's apartment. Both apartments include a kitchen, washer and dryer, and living and dining areas. In addition, the Coordinator's apartment includes a sunroom. Both apartments feature direct access from the outside.
Upper Floor Common Room
Each floor features a large common room, which includes loose seating as well as a fixed kitchen area
Upper Floor Study Room
Each floor features an enclosed study room. A combination of opaque and glass partitions provide acoustical separation from the common room, while admitting daylight and views.
At the end of each upper floor corridor, a small study nook opposite the stair offers an opportunity for students to study away from the activity of the rest of the building while admitting daylight and views to the corridors
Corridors provide access to individual residential units. Doors separating them from the common rooms provide acoustical separation, while variations in the ceiling pattern and color scheme provide variety and visual interest.
Residential units include one- and two-bed suites. Each suite includes a bathroom with a toilet and shower, as well as a dressing area that includes one closet per bed and a sink with vanity. A chase behind the shower provides a route for supply and return air, and a lowered ceiling above the bathrooms and dressing area provide space for the air handling unit, ductwork, and sprinkler piping. The living area of the suite includes one bed, one dresser, and a desk for each student. Ceilings in this area are exposed, and therefore higher, admitting more light and creating the sense of a larger space. An ADA-compliant unit is located in close proximity to common areas and vertical circulation on each floor.
June 27, 2016: "Student Life Foundation to embark on 10-year housing master plan" via College Heights Herald
August 31, 2016: "Construction on new dorm to begin in November" via College Heights Herald
December 9, 2016: "Regents hear updates on president search, residence hall in committee meetings" via Bowling Green Daily News
February 3, 2017: "New business college top priority in WKU capital projects plan" via Bowling Green Daily News
February 18, 2017: "New residence hall construction underway at WKU" via Bowling Green Daily News
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