Western Kentucky University

Bowling Green,

University Center Feasibility Analysis, Conceptual Design, And Business Plan

Western Kentucky University, in association with Taylor Whitney Architects, retained B&D in 2002 to conduct a detailed needs assessment, feasibility study, and conceptual design for the renovation and expansion of the Downing University Center. Our scope of work included a detailed market analysis including an Internet survey, focus groups, and a peer school review; the development of a detailed facilities program; a review of conceptual design ideas; and a financial analysis and business plan. We confirmed that the center’s facilities did not adequately meet the university’s needs, outlining how it was deficient in quality and in the organization of its spaces and amenities. In comparison to more contemporary university centers, it had aesthetic, functional, operational, and technical inadequacies which would become more acute as the facility continued to age and student demand increased. To respond to these needs, we addressed the physical improvements needed to redevelop the center into a state-of-the-art campus resource. Through the facility’s ensuing $62 million renovation project, which was completed in 2014, our plan made the newly named Downing Student Union a more popular destination for students, faculty, and staff—a community center for the entire campus—by providing the appropriate social, cultural, retail and activity spaces.