CWU News

Barge Hall to Shine with Holiday Spirit

Candlelight will brighten the windows of Central Washington University’s oldest building in December. Beginning December 1, 81 battery-operated candles will illuminate the south face of historic Barge Hall, which was constructed in 1893.

Electronic candles in the hall’s windows facing East University Way will come on just before 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Casey Heim, a senior from Snohomish majoring in Accounting, took on the project, researching the lights, contacting office staff, and even mapping the lighting and the use of the lights themselves.

“For several years, employees have been discussing ideas for participating in the community holiday lighting and this is an idea that just kept coming up, so we decided to try it,” said Linda Schactler, CWU chief of staff and vice president for public affairs. “December is a beautiful month in Ellensburg and the community really embraces celebrating the season. We’re delighted to be part of that.”

Schactler said the project could not have happened without Heim, who researched the diverse and technologically complex world of “flameless candles” to find a reliable, low-cost model.
“Casey contacted every office with a south-facing window in Barge Hall and she created a little user’s guide for the candles,” Schactler added.

CWU is embracing the holiday season in a variety of other ways, including gift drives for Ellensburg-area children such as the 19th annual Giving Tree, Operation ELF, and the Holiday Gift Project.

Additionally, Central will host the 41st Annual Holiday Ware Fare (December 1-3) and the 16th annual Holiday Extravaganza (December 3) in the Student Union and Recreation Center. Both are open to the general public.

Media contact: Richard Moreno, director of content development, 509-963-2714,

November 28, 2016