Downing University Center

Western Kentucky University


Bowling Green, KY

Since 1999 Jerry Taylor has been involved in a continuing series of projects at the Dero Downing University Center. Built in the 1970’s, DUC is in need of renovation and expansion to meet the needs of today’s students. The firm's relationship with DUC began with the development of a long range infrastructure masterplan, building survey, and program. The relationship has continued through a series of infrastructure projects and a detailed program for future development.

Phase 1 of the DUC Renovation and Expansion, completed in August 2003, is a $3.0 million project to expand the food service facility. This project also involved the development of a new façade strategy for the entire building as part of the expansion into what was an underused wrap-around portico. Concurrent with the 14,200 SF expansion, the firm worked with ARAMARK to redesign the 16,900 SF dining facility.

Work of the Phase 1 Renovation and Expansion includes new brick and cast stone facades, HVAC and electrical upgrades, food service equipment and finishes. Under severe scheduling constraints, this project was subject to both a compressed design and construction schedule. The project was “fast track” constructed in only eleven weeks during the summer break.

Completed in early 2006, DUC Phase 2 is a 32,000 SF annex addition to the Dero Downing University Center.  This $5.7 million facility is the second phase of a multi-phased renovation and expansion to the outdated 30 year old student center.  In addition to the 32,000 SF annex, the work of this phase includes new façades at the north end of both the east and west  building elevations, partially enclosing the original open portico and matching the new facades of the Phase 1 project.

The new north annex houses the WKU Student Success Center and provides a home for the Academic Advising and Learning Center, the Career Services Center, and the Disability Services Center.  The two story addition includes computer labs, offices, tutoring facilities, the careers library, interview rooms, classroom/ multi-use facilities.

Currently scheduled for construction in 2010, Phase 3 of the Downing University Center Renovation and Expansion will include the renovation of approximately 180,000 SF and will complete this long term, multi-phased project.

With a budget of about $40.0 million, Phase 3 will completely renovate the facility. In addition to desperately needed HVAC and electrical infrastructure replacement, the project will also upgrade outdated life safety systems, including a new sprinkler system. As a part of the Phase 3 work, new entrances will complete the façade replacement of the previous two phases of work.

The renovated DUC will include a technologically sophisticated auditorium, new bookstore, expanded student organization offices, and an expanded and interactive main lobby. Restrooms and building access will be brought into compliance with the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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Downing University Center