Student Union & Recreation Center (SURC)
SURC Room 263

History of the SURC

Astonishing Building. Incredible Story.

It’s a story of vision, determination and collaboration. It’s a story of the transformation of a renovation project into the creation of a new and unique Student Union and Recreation Center at Central Washington University, the first fusion facility of its kind in the country.

Planning consultants told us that the success of this project rested on our ability to develop a “collective university will.” So, we began with the creation of partnerships inclusive of CWU students, faculty, administration, President’s Cabinet, Board of Trustees and our local community.

We developed a student-chaired project committee, with a student majority vote, that spanned more than eight years. Our collaboration with the office of the Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs enabled us to build a strong business model and secure outstanding bond and interest rates.

We studied various site options and decided that this facility should be at the heart of campus, easily accessible to residence halls and our academic core. This involved moving high-voltage power lines, demolishing a dining facility and purchasing new land for parking––obstacles that were overcome through our shared vision.

With the work of talented consultants, architects and contractors we were able to create a fusion experience incorporating a state-of-the-art student union with a campus recreation center.  The result is a synergistic facility that houses our bookstore, primary residential dining, comprehensive student union facilities and a student membership recreation center.  And the rewards are evident: an enhanced campus community and enriched student life experience.


The Student Union and Recreation Center is the largest building on the Central Washington University campus: 228,261 square feet in three stories, centrally located with easy access to parking lots and malls, primary city streets, academic buildings and residence halls.

Student Union features

• 8,606 square foot ballroom
• 324-seat theatre
• Meeting and conference rooms
• Executive boardroom
• ASCWU Board of Directors offices
• Student services and programming offices
• Lounges
• Campus radio station
• Residential dining 
• Espresso and smoothie bars
• Bookstore
• Laptop checkout for students and public wireless internet
• Campus event ticketing
• Convenience store
• US Bank branch office and ATMs

Recreation Center features

• 50-foot indoor rock climbing wall
• Four-court gymnasium
• Strength training and cardio fitness areas
• Locker rooms with dry saunas
• Indoor elevated track
• Athletic training
• Private personal training and fitness testing
• Two group fitness studios
• University Recreation offices
• Outdoor equipment rentals and guided trips