Collegiate Library and Student Center

The Commons at Helm Library is the complete renovation and transformation of the three-story Margie Helm Library at Western Kentucky University. The unique program considers the evolution of the library in current academia and rethinks the relationship between social and intellectual spaces in a larger campus ecosystem.


2022 AIA Merit Awards for Excellence in Architectural Design




"While no one graduates from the library, no one graduates without the library."

— Timothy C. Caboni, WKU President



“The Commons honors the history and uniqueness of this important campus building. Adaptive reuse projects like this stitch together the old and the new, allowing us to reinterpret a space to be dynamic, flexible, and adaptable for future generations.”

— Jessica Gilbert, WKU Commons at Helm Library Project Manager, Manager Architecture Discipline

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“Helm Library’s original architecture and history are valuable parts of WKU’s story, which we felt was crucial to incorporate into our design. Our research into the building’s history helped guide our approach.”

— Aric Andrew, WKU Commons at Helm Library Principal in Charge, Director Higher Education Design Studio

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Key Project Features

Designed in collaboration with Gensler, Luckett and Farley acted as the Architect of Record, and
provided architectural, interior design, landscape architecture, structural engineering, civil site
engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering services.

Extended design and construction team: Cinilittle, Facility Commissioning Group, and  A&K Construction