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Western Kentucky University breaks ground on a new multi-million dollar school of business

Western Kentucky University faculty and administration and Kentucky lawmakers broke ground on the new facility for the Gordon Ford College of Business.
Jacob Martin
/
WKU Public Radio
Western Kentucky University faculty and administration and Kentucky lawmakers broke ground on the new facility for the Gordon Ford College of Business.

Western Kentucky University broke ground Wednesday on a new facility for the Gordon Ford College of Business. Construction on the new $74.4 million dollar facility is expected to begin this summer and will replace the current home of the business school, Grise Hall, which was built in 1967. WKU officials say the College of Business, the university’s fastest-growing program, needed upgraded facilities.

The new building will include a three-story atrium, 21 classrooms, collaborative learning spaces, and a dining facility. According to university officials, the new facility will create a collaborative facility for students and faculty to prepare them for entrepreneurship and careers in business.

Western Kentucky University President Timothy Carboni said the new facility will be instrumental as the university continues to grow.

“This is a great day in the life of our university,” Carboni said. “Today we pride ourselves on preparing some of our nation's finest business students and graduating young entrepreneurs who go on to become leaders and change-agents in their communities.”

Kentucky lawmakers who approved funding for a new building came during the 2022 Kentucky General Assembly. This will be the first Western Kentucky building since 2014 that will be state funded. A number of officials were on hand for the groundbreaking, including Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman; President Pro Tempore of the Kentucky Senate David Givens; Kentucky State Representative Michael Meredith; and Bowling Green Mayor Todd Alcott.

Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman said the new building was a result of bipartisan compromise.

“It took the legislature, it took the governor's office, it took both parties, and that's when the best things happen, is when we all work together to create something that we know is so needed,” Coleman said.

According to President Caboni, the new building will not only solidify the Gordon Ford College of Business as a destination for business students in the region, but will also serve as a vessel to strengthen the growing business community in Warren County.

“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,” Caboni said.

Messer Construction will carry out the construction of the project. It's scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2025.

Copyright 2023 WKU Public Radio. To see more, visit WKU Public Radio.

Jacob Martin
Camille Holland