Construction update: fall 2013

Western Today staff

An update on construction projects either in progress or just completed at Western Washington University:

Fraser Hall

A significant renovation of the 13,000-square-foot Fraser Hall began in early January and concluded before fall quarter 2013, providing a greatly enhanced learning environment for Western students. Improvements included replacement of the mechanical and electrical systems, energy efficiency upgrades, new fire sprinklers, an upgrade of the building exterior envelope, installation of an elevator, new restrooms, new fixed seating and casework, interior upgrades, installation of a new waterline to the building and associated site improvements for ADA access.

Multipurpose Athletics and Intramural Field

A transformation of the south campus is taking place with construction of an all-weather artificial turf field, bleachers, restroom facilities, field lighting, electrical service, utilities and associated facilities. Final completion of the field and amenities is scheduled for Spring 2014. A $1 million gift from Western alumnus Scott Harrington and his family helped begin the process of building the modern new multipurpose athletic and intramural field at WWU. The WWU Board of Trustees unanimously approved a motion to name the field in honor of Scott’s father, the late Robert Harrington, in recognition of the family’s gift. The field will be formally known as Robert S. Harrington Field. Students are funding a major portion of the project cost through the existing Student Recreation Fee budget. Turf will be installed in November for use winter quarter.

Humanities Building

Adhering closely to the original architectural design, this project improved building performance and reduced water infiltration by cleaning and sealing brick, repairing mortar joints, replacing window caulking, repairing wood columns and providing exterior downspouts from the roof.

Ridgeway Alpha Housing Complex Renovation

In the housing area, Ridgeway Alpha received upgrades to the fire alarm and detection systems, installation of a fire suppression system (sprinklers), asbestos abatement, replacement of windows, replacement of flooring in student rooms, and lighting modifications.

New Copy Services Center Location

The Copy Center moved from the second floor of Haggard Hall to the first floor of Haggard Hall in the space facing Red Square that formally held the Juice Bar and entry lobby. This new “storefront” location improves student and employee access to the operation. Copy Services’ previous operations in Haggard Hall, Parks Hall and the Commissary have been consolidated into this new central location.

Commissary Classrooms

With the consolidation of Copy Services to its new location, space was freed up in the Commissary to address space issues for the College of Fine and Performing Arts. The Commissary was remodeled to create two dance studios, one lighting lab for the Theatre Department, as well as a supporting classroom for the lighting lab. Also, four faculty offices were created for the Dance Department. This will alleviate some of the space and program pressure from Carver, Performing Arts Center and Bond Hall.

Fairhaven Dining Project

Fairhaven Dining Hall was upgraded to include energy efficiency improvements by replacing old equipment and adding some new equipment in the kitchen; new cabinets, lighting, food service equipment and layout in the food service area; new cashier station and relocation of dish room and conference rooms on the east side of the dining area.

City Of Bellingham, Sidewalk Improvements on Bill McDonald Parkway

The project completes a pedestrian pathway between the Samish Urban Village and Western by constructing approximately 2,700 feet of sidewalk on the north side of Bill McDonald Parkway between Ferry Avenue and Byron Avenue The improvements, which provide a sidewalk on the same side of the street as Birnam Wood, includes associated driveway cuts, ADA facilities, and drainage improvements.

Next Steps for the Carver Academic Facility Renovation

On Aug. 22, Western’s Board of Trustees approved a supplemental capital budget request for Western’s top capital priority project, the Carver Academic Renovation, which was not funded by the Legislature during the last session. Due to continued critical life safety and preservation issues, funding for this project will be requested by Western during the Legislature’s 2014 Supplemental Session.

The original core of the Carver Academic Complex was built in 1936 to accommodate a campus enrollment of approximately 730 students. A major addition was constructed in 1960 when Western’s enrollment level was approximately 2,950 students. Since then there have been only minor additions in 1970, 1984, and 1994. The mechanical, electrical, and life safety systems have exceeded their useful life with some existing equipment dating back to the original 1936 construction. Building systems are costly to maintain and parts are often difficult to obtain or unavailable. High student demand for programs such as Community Health, Pre-Physical Therapy, Pre-Health Care Professions, P-12 Teacher Education in Physical Education & Health and Recreation, Fitness Science, and Sports Psychology, as well as a new degree program in Dance, has caused program space requirements to exceed the existing square footage of Carver.

Because the square footage is insufficient to meet all program needs, classroom and office space is currently used in other buildings and in leased space off-campus. Technology requirements of the academic programs as well as growth of women’s athletics and Title IX Gender Equity legislation have put further strain on this facility and its systems. Women’s locker room space and access to equipment storage are the main deficiencies in meeting gender equity. The departments have made every effort to effectively utilize shared spaces in Carver and to extend hours of use. One of the most serious and limiting space issues is the lack of laboratory space for teaching and research. Faculty recruitment is challenged by the shortfalls of the facility, and student enrollment into the specific majors has been limited by the facility.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 10:09am
A significant renovation of the 13,000-square-foot Fraser Hall began in early January and concluded before fall quarter 2013, providing a greatly enhanced learning environment for Western students. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU

A significant renovation of the 13,000-square-foot Fraser Hall began in early January and concluded before fall quarter 2013, providing a greatly enhanced learning environment for Western students. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU

A transformation of the south campus is taking place with construction of an all-weather artificial turf field, bleachers, restroom facilities, field lighting, electrical service, utilities and associated facilities. Final completion of the field and amen

A transformation of the south campus is taking place with construction of an all-weather artificial turf field, bleachers, restroom facilities, field lighting, electrical service, utilities and associated facilities. Final completion of the field and amen

Adhering closely to the original architectural design, the Humanities Building project improved building performance and reduced water infiltration by cleaning and sealing brick, repairing mortar joints, replacing window caulking, repairing wood columns a

Adhering closely to the original architectural design, the Humanities Building project improved building performance and reduced water infiltration by cleaning and sealing brick, repairing mortar joints, replacing window caulking, repairing wood columns a

The Copy Center moved from the second floor of Haggard Hall to the first floor of Haggard Hall in the space facing Red Square that formally held the Juice Bar and entry lobby. This new “storefront” location improves student and employee access to the oper

The Copy Center moved from the second floor of Haggard Hall to the first floor of Haggard Hall in the space facing Red Square that formally held the Juice Bar and entry lobby. This new “storefront” location improves student and employee access to the oper

The Copy Center moved from the second floor of Haggard Hall to the first floor of Haggard Hall in the space facing Red Square that formally held the Juice Bar and entry lobby. This new “storefront” location improves student and employee access to the oper

The Copy Center moved from the second floor of Haggard Hall to the first floor of Haggard Hall in the space facing Red Square that formally held the Juice Bar and entry lobby. This new “storefront” location improves student and employee access to the oper

The project to complete the pedestrian pathway between the Samish Urban Village and Western by constructing approximately 2,700 feet of sidewalk on the north side of Bill McDonald Parkway between Ferry Avenue and Byron Avenue is complete. The improvements

The project to complete the pedestrian pathway between the Samish Urban Village and Western by constructing approximately 2,700 feet of sidewalk on the north side of Bill McDonald Parkway between Ferry Avenue and Byron Avenue is complete. The improvements