Board of Trustees Recap for Feb. 8

Editor’s Note: After each Board of Trustees meeting, Western Today provides a recap of decisions and discussion.


Trustees OK Design & Preconstruction Services Contract for New Campus Residence Hall

Western’s Board of Trustees on Friday approved a contract with Lydig Construction of Spokane of $2,070,000 for design and pre-construction services for a new residence hall at the university’s main campus in Bellingham.

Rick Benner, university architect and director of Western’s Facilities Development and Capital Budget office, described the project for the trustees.

Phase 1 work on the design and preconstruction services will continue until summer 2019. The Phase 2 contract amendment for the construction phase is scheduled to be submitted to the trustees at the August 2019 board meeting. The total budget for the project, including construction, is estimated to be $65 million, with the funding coming from housing.

A potential site for the new 400-bed residence hall has not yet been determined but two sites near Highland Hall on the ridge are under active consideration.

            The trustees also approved contracts on two other larger projects:

  • A $759,996 contract to M. A. Mortenson Construction for the Phase 1 contract for design and preconstruction services for the Consolidated Academic Support Services Facility. That facility will be built near Western’s Physical Plant facility and will house some university support offices to free up space on the academic core of campus.
  • Awarded an $886,500 construction contract for multiple building office and classroom renovations at the Environmental Studies (ES) and Campus Services buildings to Regency NW Construction Inc., of Bellevue. Western’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) will move from their current location on the ground floor of the Environmental Studies building to the Campus Services building – also freeing up academic space on the main core of campus. The space vacated by EHS will create new active learning classrooms on the ground floor of the ES building prior to the start of fall 2019 classes. That project also will free up space in the ES building, where those classrooms had been, for labs in a future project.

Western is seeking funding for the Consolidated Academic Support Services Facility in their submittal to the Legislature for capital funding this year.

Due to the possibility of bad weather the meeting was shortened to less than an hour, with discussion items postponed until another, later meeting of the trustees.

In other business, the trustees:

  • Heard a report from WWU President Sabah Randhawa that he and other senior administration leaders have been meeting with student groups in the aftermath of the recent sit-in at the President’s Office. Randhawa updated the trustees on a blog post he shared with campus on Friday, Feb. 8, which describes a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion website. That website includes a timeline that captures a list of the major projects completed, under way, and to be addressed in response to urgent needs put forth by various student groups. Randhawa also told the trustees of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast at Western, and plans for a future similar event in cooperation with the city. He also said that nearly 100 Western students traveled to Olympia on MLK Day to advocate for AS legislative priorities, and that an alumni reception at the Governor’s Mansion was well attended, including by legislators.
  • Approved a motion, upon recommendation of the trustees’ Finance, Audit and Risk Management, to appoint the state Auditor’s Office to perform an audit of the financial statements of the university, Housing and Dining, the Wade King Student Recreation Center, and the Associated Students Bookstore. The estimated cost to Western for the audits will be $60,000.
  • The next regular meeting of the Board of trustees will be April 4 and 5. Meeting documents are available at the Board of Trustees website at The audio cast of the Feb. 8 meeting is at:


Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 10:34am

Event Date