Western Kentucky University holds ribbon cutting at The Commons at Helm Library

commons dedication
Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 3:57 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Western Kentucky University has reimagined the traditional library with The Commons at Helm Library. The ribbon cutting ceremony for the new space celebrated this new area with spaces for studying, collaboration, and social interactions. It is unlike any library in the Commonwealth.

The Commons at Helm Library integrates the history of the building in its design while making it a modern educational hub for the community. It was originally built in 1934 as a Health and fitness area and renovated in the 1960′s to be a library. The hardwood floors from the original basketball arena and the jump circle remain in the center of the main level of the three floor facility. The Library was closed at the end of the spring semester in 2019 to begin the remodeling process to be completed in 2021. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 altered the schedule.

WKU president, Dr. Timothy C. Caboni announced the project during his investiture address in 2018, stating that it would “provide a flexible and modern common space that serves as a dining destination for the entire community.”

A steering committee made up of WKU faculty, staff and students worked with designers from Gensler and architects from Luckett & Farley group. A&K Construction handled the General Contracting responsibilities.

Permanent space for several restaurants is made possible by WKU’s partnership with Aramark. Such favorites as Panda Express, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Rising Roll and Spencer’s Coffee are some of the eateries that have space at The Commons.