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Name Thompson Science Complex (WKU)
Details Other Names - Kelly Thompson Science Hall
Date Built - 1961
Cost of Construction - $1,300,000
Architects - Frank Cain & R. Ben Johnson Associates


Dr. Kelly Thompson was appointed president of Western October 17, 1955. Prior to that time he had served twenty-six years as a member of the administrative staff as field representative, director of public relations, assistant to the president, and acting president following the death of Western's second president, Dr. Paul L. Garrett, February 28, 1955. He entered Western as a freshman in September, 1928, and was employed as a field representative by Dr. H.H. Cherry, Western's first president, in June, 1929.

Dr. Thompson was born in Lebanon, Kentucky, the son of C.B. and Josephine Thompson. He received the B.A. degree in 1935, and the M.A. degree in 1943, from Western. He was awarded the L.L.D. degree in 1957 by Morris Harvey College. He has long been active in civic and professional organizations and has distinguished himself by his significant contributions to higher education.

~excerpt from Thompson Science Complex dedication program


The original 75,000 square foot, three story Kelly Thompson Science Hall was completed in 1961. It brought the departments of Biology, Chemistry and Physics back into a single building and open space in Cherry Hall for other departments. The building became the north wing of the larger Thompson Science Complex in 1967. The complex was made up of the original north wing and a four story central wing next to the Hardin Planetarium. The original building became classroom space and departmental offices were transferred to the central wing. Mathematics was brought into the complex as well.


1967 - Central Wing

1987 - asbestos removal

College Heights Herald - Science Hall

"$34,000 Grant Received for Planning of New Science Building at Western," Oct. 10, 1958, p. 1

"Board of Regents Name New Science Building for Kelly Thompson," Sept. 27, 1961, p. 1

"Complex Expands for Student Needs," Oct. 14, 1967, p. 4

"Dedication," photograph, Oct. 11, 1961

"Gov. Combs to Deliver Dedication Address for Kelly Thompson," Oct. 11, 1961, p. 1

Jenkins, Ferrell. "Book Marks; Science Library," Nov. 14, 1962

"Low Bid for Science Complex Submitted by Owensboro firm," Feb. 17, 1966, p. 1

McKinney, Douglas. "Thompson Hall is One of Best-equipped Science Buildings in United States," April 10, 1963, p. 5

"New Kelly Thompson Hall Dedicated to Service of Kentucky's Students," Oct. 18, 1961, p. 1

"New Science Building to Cost $1,500,000," April 29, 1960, p. 1

"Science Building Funds Set in State Budget," Mar. 4, 1960, p. 1

"Science Library to be Opened," Jan. 17, 1962, p. 1

Park City Daily News - Science Hall

"$1,011,500 is Science Building Bid," July 1, 1960

"Bids on WSC Building Total $785,000" Feb. 6, 1966

"Budget Includes Western Science building funds," Feb. 19, 1960

"Building is Dedicated to Youth of Kentucky," Oct. 16, 1961, p. 1, 3

Dickey, Bob. "New Science Building to Cost $1,500,000," April 29, 1960, p. 1, 3

"Okay Grant for Science Building," Jan. 26, 1966, p. 1, 5

"Science Hall Named for Thompson," Aug. 28, 1961, p. 1, 3

"Sign of Growth," Oct. 17, 1961

"Thompson Hall Dedication Scheduled for Next Sunday," Oct. 8, 1961, p. 7

"Western Building Dedication Set Today," Oct. 16, 1961, p. 1, 3

"Western Projects Slightly Behind," Dec. 4, 1966, p. 26

"Western Receives $34,000 to Plan $800,000 Building," Sept. 18, 1958

"Wood from Ogden Trees to Panel Library Walls," April 30, 1961

"Work Begins on Western Building," July 22, 1960, p. 1, 6

"Work to Start this Summer on Western Science Building," April 28, 1960, p. 1, 5

College Heights Herald - Thompson Science Complex

"After Eight Months, the temp walls behind complex will soon come down," Sept. 27, 1990, p. 15

"Bricks Tumble from Top of Building," Feb. 15, 1990, p. 1

"Complex Project," architectural sketch, Feb. 24, 1966, p. 1

"Falling Bricks Were Only First Indication of Structural Flaws; More Architectural Problems Discovered," Mar. 15, 1990, p. 19

"Fire Causes $9,950 Damage to Incubator in North Wing of Science Complex," Jan. 27, 1987, p. 3

"Professors in North Wing Must Vacate Offices for Asbestos Removal and Renovation," April 2, 1987, p. 1

Park City Daily News - Thompson Science Complex

"A Broad Suspended Stairway Leads to the 2nd Floor," photograph, Aug. 6, 1967

"Bricks That Fell at WKU Were Not Properly Installed," Feb. 15, 1990

Forrester, Kathy. "Clean Air," photograph, Nov. 2, 1990

Gentry, Margaret. "A Covered Walkway," photograph, Aug. 6, 1967

Jackson, Lisa. "Investigator Looking into Reason Bricks Fell From WKU Building," Feb. 14, 1990

"WKU Complex was Not Built to Specifications," Mar. 25, 1990

Minor, Robyn. "Bill Would Mean Another $2million for WKU," Oct. 25, 2007

Plumlee, Mitchell. "Smoke at WKU Science Lab Prompts Evacuation," June 12, 2000

Riley, Jason. "Future Dreams are Coming True," June 9, 1999

"WKU Eyes Renovation Needs," Nov. 18, 1998

Ross, Thomas. "WKU to Renovate Science Building," April 9, 1987

Willis, Justin. "Baking Soda Spooks Some at WKU Lab," Oct. 23, 2001, p. 3A

Documents & Primary Sources

UA1C1 Views - Inventory -

UA1C4/14 Dignitaries / Entertainers / Visitors - Inventory -

UA1C11/1 Public Relations Collection - Inventory -

UA2 Board of Regents Meeting Minutes

March 1, 1961 -

October 14, 1961 -

August 8, 1966 -

UA3/3 Kelly Thompson President's Papers

Construction File - Inventory -

Speech File - Inventory -

Subject / Correspondence File - Inventory -

Dedication Broadcast Transcript -

UA11 University Relations

Building & Construction File

UA30/1/1 Planning, Design & Construction - Blueprints, Drawings & Plans - Inventory -

UA68/8/2 Oral History Committee

Georgia Bates Interview - Transcript -
Archives Entries 3
Library Entries 1
Photograph Entries 2

Associated Records

Image of UA30.1 Planning, Design & Construction Series 1. Blueprints, Drawings & Plans - Planning, Design & Construction (WKU)

UA30.1 Planning, Design & Construction Series 1. Blueprints, Drawings & Plans - Planning, Design & Construction (WKU)

Blueprints, drawings and plans of WKU buildings and campus created by the Department of Planning, Design & Construction.

Image of UA1C WKU Archives Photograph Collection Series 2. Buildings - WKU Archives

UA1C WKU Archives Photograph Collection Series 2. Buildings - WKU Archives

Photographs, negatives, postcards, drawings, slides and digital images of Western Kentucky University buildings. Includes buildings of founding institutions. Subseries 1. Academic Athletic Performance Center / Diddle Arena Subseries 2. Academic Complex Subseries 3. Agricultural Exposition Center Subseries 4. Proposed Buildings Subseries 5. Barnes-Campbell Subseries 6. Barracks Subseries 7. Bates-Runner Subseries 8. Bemis Lawrence Subseries 9. Cabell Hall Subseries 10. Cedar House aka Faculty House Subseries 11. West Hall Subseries 12. Unidentified Subseries 13. Cherry Hall, 1937+ Subseries 14. Glasgow Normal School Subseries

Image of UA1C WKU Archives Photograph Collection Series 11. Collections. Subseries 70. Talisman Collection - Talisman

UA1C WKU Archives Photograph Collection Series 11. Collections. Subseries 70. Talisman Collection - Talisman

Transparencies created by Talisman photographers for publication in the yearbook.

Image of Western Alumnus - WKU Alumni Relations

Western Alumnus - WKU Alumni Relations

Summer Song: My Old Kentucky Arterburn Summer Job: More Than Mussels Summer Change: The Old Training School Takes a New Lease Summer Study: Young Editors at Work Summer Trek: Camping Out in Mid-America Academic Services Strive for Better Educational Support Where Some of It Comes from . . . A New Look for Old Stuff Remember When: Flashback to '61-'62 College Football - A Saturday Game? Don't You Believe It! Food and Fellowship - Another Succesful Fish Fry!! Significant Statements Recreation Interns Spread a Big Red Message New Ways to Establish Credit Faculty Members Answer . . . What Makes for Good Teaching? Georgia Alumni Club Has Derby Party Middle Tennessee Westerners Hea

Image of WKU Campus - Unknown

WKU Campus - Unknown

Aerial view of WKU campus.

Image of Unidentified Students - Unknown

Unidentified Students - Unknown

Unidentified students working in Thompson Science Complex. If you recognize this photo and can help identify the people in it, please send feedback - above.