Western’s spring 2015 graduating class will experience the last commencement in Sam Carver Gymnasium’s current state before the building undergoes an 18-month construction and renovation project.
The project will begin July 1, pending the approval of state capital funding from the Washington State Legislature. This funding is the top priority in Western’s 2015-2017 capital budget request, which asks for $73 million to complete the Carver project, Western’s Office of Communications Director Paul Cocke said in an email.
The renovation will change the scheduling of student activities previously held in Carver Gym, and will increase traffic in and out of Wade King Student Recreation Center, said Amy Cornish, intramural and youth camp sports advisor at the rec center.
The intramural program currently holds volleyball, basketball and dodgeball games in Carver Gym. With the move back to the rec center full time, the intramural program will share court space with varsity athletic practices during renovations, Cornish said.
Cornish said there will be fewer indoor intramural games during the week due to limited space and available time. In the winter, the program will try to offer more outdoor sports like soccer and flag football to accommodate for the lack of indoor space, Cornish said.
“For two years, we are going to have to shrink down and take less space. Once the remodel is over, intramurals will get to go back and use that space again,” Cornish said. “The improvement of the facility is not only benefitting the athletes, it is benefitting students that have classes there.”
Students participating in intramural sports during the upcoming academic year can expect an increase in team sizes due to limited playing time, she said.
“It will be about maintaining the balance of open recreation and programming,” Cornish said.
The center of Carver Gym will be replaced with a three-story addition, which will wrap around the east and south sides of the new structure, Cocke said.
The outside of the building will appear to be a glass structure, similar to the neighboring Morse Hall Chemistry Building, he said.
The renovation will address earthquake prevention and other necessary safety conditions and replace aging structural, mechanical and electrical systems. It will also allow access to programs and classrooms, according to standards set in place by the Americans with Disabilities Act, he said.