When Gary A. Ransdell, the president of Western Kentucky University, invites alumni to view this city’s redeveloping downtown from his university’s hilltop campus, the response is almost always exclamations of surprise.
Just below Cherry Hall, one of the 108-year-old university’s grandest buildings, sits nearly 200,000 square feet of new student housing, built at a cost of $24 million. There is also a 30,000-square-foot, $10 million alumni center, and a 72,500-square-foot, $14.5 million Hyatt Place hotel scheduled to open in 2015.
Next door to the Hyatt site, a $28 million mixed-use development is under construction. One building will house 240 more students on one side of College Street, and another will have small businesses, restaurants and a rooftop pool.