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Western Kentucky University Van Meter Hall Renovation

Bowling Green, KY

In 1911, Van Meter Hall – a performing arts center and office building on the National Register of Historic Places – became the first building constructed on the campus of Western Kentucky University (WKU). As only the second renovation in Van Meter Hall’s existence, this project consisted of a complete renovation and restoration of the1,600-seat, 52,000 sf performing arts center and office building. Also, the existing stagehouse was demolished and a new one constructed in its place.

Inaddition, there is an array of historic, valuable and delicate features of this building which, to restore, needed to be sent to several different specialists around the United States. One such historic feature is the stained glass skylight in the lobby. Every panel of this 300 sf light was removed, sent away, restored, returned and reinstalled. If any glass panels were broken in the process, they could not be duplicated to match. With Messer’s coordination and oversight, every panel from the skylight made it to Louisville and back intact.

The project also proved difficult because the data center for the entire WKU campus was housed in Van Meter Hall’s basement. Through careful coordination Messer completed the renovation five months early, without any electrical down time.