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WKU officially opens The Commons at Helm Library after series of delays

WKU Opens the 'Commons' at Helm Library
Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 9:15 AM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Students and staff now have a new place on WKU’s campus to gather.

The Commons at Helm Library are officially open after several obstacles, including supply chain disruptions, material shortages and workforce challenges kept it from doing so at the beginning of the 2021 Fall Semester.

“We are so excited to finally have the opening of the WKU Commons at Helm,” said Dr. Tim Caboni, WKU’s President. “This project has been a long time coming.”

The space is a three story, 85,193 square-foot building with several dinning options including Moe’s Southwest Grill, Panda Express, Rising Roll, Spencer’s Coffee and Bene Pizzeria, as well as a rotating restaurant space.

“I am beyond excited. I think the community is gonna respond in a tremendous way to this building, and I’m excited about the future,” said Susann de Vries, the Dean of the University Library.

“When you set big goals, you want them to be necessarily difficult. And when we set the goal of transforming a library into a space, that’s multipurpose, that brings the building down to nothing and recraft it, we knew it was going to be a heavy lift,” Caboni said. “I’m proud of the work that the entire community did to make this happen. And to be in the space essentially, for the first time in person. I’m as overwhelmed as I hope all of our students are”.

“This building is kind of a dream come true,” de Vries said, “The fact that we have a president who is future minded, and so great, thanks to President Caboni for envisioning this and working with everybody to make this happen”.

The building also has a history that started before it became the library.

“Back in 1931, this building was opened up as a health and physical education facility is where the university has a great history of basketball,” Bryan Russell, the University’s Chief Facilities Officer said. “We preserved the jump circle. It’s in its original location, we’ve we’ve kind of expose the superstructure.”

The library’s hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 10 p.m.

For more information visit wku.edu/commons.

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