By Donovan Radford, Ballard High School
Completion of the construction of the new Ogden College Hall is the last phase of a multi-year, multi-million dollar plan to upgrade some old buildings on campus spanning back to 2005.
Bryan Russell, chief facilities officer at WKU, said Ogden College Hall, a $32.2 million project, is scheduled for completion in December. Classes begin in January of 2018. It is replacing Thompson Complex North Wing.
“They will have the latest and greatest technology to work with,” Russell said.
The building, which will house the Ogden College of Science and Engineering, includes four stories with 36 laboratories for the departments of chemistry, physics and biology. It also has an auditorium that will seat 300.
“It is a little over 80,000 square feet,” Russell said. Students will also enjoy a student success center and student lounges. There will also be a Dean’s Suite.
At a groundbreaking ceremony in April, Cheryl Stevens, the dean of Ogden College, talked about the impact of the new facility.
“It is a very significant event for Ogden College,” Stevens said.
“We are so thrilled to have this kind of space and a state-of-the-art facility.”
Russell said Ogden would offer a comfortable and environmentally friendly facility. Students will not have to worry about breathing in chemicals from lab work either, he said.
As for the construction of the building, it is made of cast and concrete. “It’s a very robust building,” Russell said.
According to a press release by the Ogden College website, outgoing President Gary Ransdell said improving the sciences facilities has been a priority since he returned to campus in 1997.
“I’m delighted this is now under way,” Ransdell said.
Kentucky House Speaker Pro Tem Jody Richards, who was also on hand for the groundbreaking, said in the newsletter he couldn’t wait for it to open.
“An academic building is truly exciting,” Richards said. “It’s an exciting day, and we look forward to coming back for the opening.”