BELLINGHAM, Wash. - A major renovation of Western Washington University's Carver Academic Facility is beginning and will revitalize the aging campus building.
The Washington State Legislature, as part of the 2015-2017 state capital budget, approved $70 million in funding for the project.
"We deeply appreciate the support from the Legislature, particularly our local legislators, for this important and major renovation project for the Carver Academic Facility" said WWU President Bruce Shepard. "Our campus has vigorously advocated for the Carver renovation for years, and I am especially appreciative of Western students, faculty and alumni for their active and effective support in Olympia for this project."
The project will provide a boost to the local and regional economy. During construction to start this summer and continue over the next 18 months to two years, as many as 200 construction workers at a time will be on site. Over the course of the project over 750 workers will be at the site. Additional employment will be created by the project among suppliers of equipment and materials.
The project includes replacement of the building center section with a three-story addition and wrapping the east and south sides with new structure and glass windows and other exterior openings. The project will address urgently needed seismic reinforcement throughout the facility, will replace numerous aging building systems, provide improved disabled access to classrooms, labs and offices, and allow for much better use of academic spaces.
The renovation will provide classrooms, computer labs, movement labs, instructional space, offices, support facilities and gymnasiums for PEHR (Physical Education, Health & Recreation), Campus Recreation, and Athletics. It will also provide additional general university classrooms. PEHR (the department's name is changing this summer to Health and Human Development) offers degree programs for students interested in professions related to kinesiology, P-12 physical education and health, community health education, and recreation, areas of increasing need for the state. PEHR also is the largest and fastest-growing academic department at Western.
"The renovation of the Carver Academic Facility has been a long time coming, and the impact of this project will be profound. The renovation will create learning and teaching environments that are accessible, safe, and able to house the largest department and academic major at Western. The commitment from the state Legislature is greatly appreciated," said LeaAnn Martin, Dean of Western's College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
The Carver facility is now closed. Over the next 18 months to two years, Commencement ceremonies held at the end of each of the four academic quarters will be moved to the Performing Arts Center Mainstage. Some athletic events, such as men's and women's basketball games, will be held at Whatcom Community College. Occupants and programs in Carver have been relocated to multiple locations throughout campus.
Due to the construction, the main pedestrian pathway east of Carver will remain open but will be narrower. The entire site around Carver will have a secure construction fence.
Mortenson Construction is the project's General ContractorConstruction manager.
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