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State approves $70 million for Carver renovation

An artist's rendering of the renovated Carver Gymnasium depicts a reconstructed entrance to the building. // Photo illustration courtesy of Paul Cocke
An artist’s rendering of the renovated Carver Gymnasium depicts a reconstructed entrance to the building. // Photo illustration courtesy of Paul Cocke

The Washington State Legislature approved $70 million to fund the renovation of Western Washington University’s Carver Gymnasium in the capital budget for 2015-2017.

The capital budget was passed Tuesday, June 30, and renovations in Carver will start this summer with the project expected to take approximately 18 months to complete.

“The university has relocated occupants of the building. Carver is now closed,” said Paul Cocke, Western’s Office of University Communications and Marketing director. “Commencement ceremonies, held there at the end of each quarter, will be moved to the Performing Arts Center in the interim. Athletic events, including men’s and women’s basketball games, will be held at Whatcom Community College while the building is under construction.”

The state’s operating budget was also passed Monday, June 29, and includes a five percent tuition reduction rate for students by fall 2015, as well as an additional 15 percent reduction by fall 2016. The budget also includes increased pay for university faculty and staff.

“Resident undergraduate students and their families will benefit from tuition reductions contained in the budget,” said Linda Teater, director of Western’s Budget Office, and Rich Van Den Hul, Western’s vice president for business and financial affairs, in a statement. “During the Recession, tuition increases were dramatic as budgets were cut. We are extremely pleased to see that trend reversed, to the benefit of our students.”

Campus budget meetings and a campus budget review are planned for next week to finalize the preparation of the budget for Western. A special Board of Trustees meeting for the budget is scheduled for Monday, July 20.

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