Central Washington University
A Decade of Change

A Decade of Change

If a single word could describe what’s been happening at CWU’s Ellensburg campus during the past decade, it would be change. Since 2009, the university has seen nearly $300 million invested in new construction.

During that time, the campus landscape has been transformed by the addition of Discovery Hall (formerly Science II), the new Samuelson Hall, and the new Barto and Dugmore residence halls as well as expansion of Hogue Hall, construction of a north campus dining complex, renovation of Tomlinson Stadium, major overhauls of Lind and Bouillon Halls, and completion of a new recreation complex.

“It is interesting just how the growth in recent years has really impacted the campus,” noted Shane Scott, associate vice president of campus planning and facilities management.

“I think we’ve been able to preserve the things about the campus that we all love while adding new, state-of-the-art facilities.”
—Shane Scott, associate vice president of campus planning and facilities management

“If you go to the old campus (behind Barge Hall) and stand on the southeast corner near Samuelson Hall, you can see both Hertz and Bouillon halls (to the north and east), which have similar architectural styles, and represent the past,” he continued.

“Look directly east and north (to Samuelson Hall and Discovery Hall) and you can literally see the future.”

Scott, who earned a BA in Anthropology in 1996 and MS in Natural Resource Management in 2003, said he came to work at the university in 2008 specifically because of the school’s capital plan. He said he was impressed by how the university aligned future campus construction with its educational goals regarding science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) research and teaching. He said that plan “really set a vision that has changed the physical appearance of the campus for the next 100 years.

“Of course it all happened because of a collaboration of Facilities and Government Relations, staff, faculty, and legislative leaders, including Senator Jim Honeyford, who is a CWU alumnus, and Senator Judy Warnick,” Scott added.

The construction boom has allowed Central to keep pace with the growing needs of students and faculty.

While the bulk of the funding has been the result of capital appropriations provided by the state of Washington, some of the projects have been financed through support from generous donors, student fees, reserve funds, and other sources.

“We’ve been extremely fortunate during the past ten years to be able to have the support of our state legislators and the governor for construction projects that greatly enhance our academic programs,” CWU President James L. Gaudino said. “But it’s truly been a group effort on the part of our faculty members, students, alumni, and donors that has made these projects a reality.”

Scott said the university’s next facilities master plan, which will guide decisions during the next ten years, will continue to build on what’s been done for the past decade. In addition to the construction of a new $62 million health science building, he said the university is looking forward to the renovation of Nicholson Pavilion, for which the state recently approved funding.


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