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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Campus construction renovates roads, lots, dorms

Several buildings and lots are currently under construction this summer, stacking up an $85 million bill, according to the Office of Facilities Development and Capital Budget. // Photo by Connor Jalbert
Several buildings and lots are currently under construction this summer, stacking up an $85 million bill, according to the Office of Facilities Development and Capital Budget. // Photo by Connor Jalbert

Carver Gymnasium, C lots and Nash Hall are among many buildings and lots currently under construction this summer, stacking up an $85 million bill, according to the Office of Facilities Development and Capital Budget.


Sam Carver Gymnasium, which began its renovation in July 2015, has an estimated completion date scheduled for spring 2017, according to the Office of Facilities Development and Capital Budget. This construction has the most expensive budget of any project in campus history.

At $70 million, it takes up 82 percent of the entire construction budget and is over eight times as costly as the next priciest project, renovations to Ridgeway Gamma, estimated at $8 million.

Some features of the plan include replacing the building center section with a three-story addition, creating ADA access to programs and classrooms and addressing substandard seismic and life safety conditions.

You can expect roofing, fireproofing, installation of wall framing, structural framing and decking, among other things, from July 4 to 17, said Paul Cocke, Director of Communications and Marketing.

C Lots

C Lots are undergoing regrading,  which is the raising and lowering of land, paving and the stripping of two gravel lots and one concrete lot. In addition, rain gardens will be created through stormwater improvements and new energy efficient LED lights and irrigation piping will be installed. The budget for this project is projected at $1.39 million.

Parking Services estimates C lots will be completed on September 9, 2016.   


Surfaces in parking lots 7G/3R, north of Higginson Hall, are being cleaned and sealed. Construction of 7G and 3R will be split to allow for parking in one lot while the other is being redone. This project has an anticipated completion before fall 2016 classes begin, according to Parking Services.

Additionally, up to 10 percent of surfaces and bases at remaining parking lots will be repaired. The completion date for these projects is July 2016.

Nash Hall

Nash Hall, Buchanan Towers and Fairhaven Complex construction all have completion dates set for August 2016, according to the Office of Facilities Development and Capital Budget.

Nash has the third highest budget at $1.4 million. The building is undergoing steam, hydronic heating and domestic hot water system renovation within the mechanical room.

Hydronic heating systems involve warm liquid circulating through warming baseboards, radiators and/or radiant tubing, according to Laars Heating System Company. This allows for an even distribution of heat.

Existing hydronic heating valves will be replaced throughout the building.

Buchanan Towers

The flat roof membrane, the materials used to cover a flat roof, is being replaced.


Fairhaven Complex is receiving upgrading to the existing storm drainage system near stacks 8 through 12.

As a result of the construction, Fairhaven Commons will be closed over the summer. Ridgeway Commons and Viking Commons will alternate being open, according to University Dining and Catering Services. Ridgeway Commons is currently open; it reopended yesterday, July 11. 

September completions

Ridgeway Gamma is receiving adjustments to existing fire sprinkler and automatic fire alarm systems. Lighting systems, interior painting, and floor coverings will also be modified.

Haggard Hall and Morse Hall will be outfitted with new roofing, insulation and flashings.

Miller Hall, Science Math and Technology, and Humanities buildings will receive fall protection. Whenever faculty, staff or students are exposed to a hazard of falling from 10 feet or higher, a fall protection program is in place to safeguard at risk persons from serious injury or death, according to the Washington Administration Code.

Birnam Wood is undergoing a project to reduce moisture. Some features of the plan include exterior repairs to foundation walls, replacement of the below grade waterproofing and drainage systems and regrading at stacks 6-7.

December completions

As many as 22 Telecom rooms in Old Main, Humanities, Chemistry, Performing Arts and the Biology buildings are receiving heat gain mitigation.

Student Reactions

Students have had to alter some of their routines as a result of the construction.

“I’m on the volleyball team, so Carver Gym has had a huge impact on our lives because typically, we would just practice there, but [now] we have to go to the Rec Center,” said sophomore Mae Thungc.

Home games were also relocated, Thungc said.

“We had to drive all the way to Whatcom [Community College],” Thungc said. “It’s not really home.”

Junior Ben Fukai said he was less affected by the renovation.

“For me, Carver Gym doesn’t really matter. But [since] the little shortcut area behind Carver Gym is closed down, I have to take the long way,” said Fukai, referencing the walk from Ridgeway to main campus.

The C Lot construction was a greater bother to Fukai.

Having recently moved into apartments on South Campus, Fukai said it’s a pain the bus doesn’t stop at Campus Services.

Senior Kay-Dien Fox had trouble getting to the C lots.

“They’re redoing the parking lots and now only one lot is open. It’s confusing how to get in there,” Fox said. “I literally drove around for 15 minutes trying to find where to go into the C lots.”

Rosie Grinsted-Sobie, a past student at WWU, said she was less annoyed.

“I will say it’s a little more difficult to get around, but not too bad,” Grinsted-Sobie said. “Thankfully, they do it during nice weather. The walk doesn’t seem as terrible as it could be.”


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