CWU News

CWU Officially Opens New Residence Hall

Homecoming week at CWU included additional layers of excitement and celebration with the official unveiling of Dr. Owen Dugmore Hall and the Northside Commons dining facility. A ceremonial ribbon-cutting for both was held Saturday, October 12, which was attended by about 125 state lawmakers, dignitaries, guests, students, alumni, and community members. 

The 402-bed residence facility was opened to students in time for fall quarter classes. It helps address enrollment growth, particularly among first-year students, on the Ellensburg campus, which is continuing this year

At 105,000-square-feet, Dugmore Hall includes 320 living spaces for first-year students, with 80 rooms on the fourth floor will be open to sophomores and above. The adjacent 6,000-square-foot Northside Commons is home to Ellensburg’s first Panda Express restaurant and the university’s 1891 Café & Market. The upscale establishment offers coffee/espresso, nitro cold-brew coffee, acai bowls, grab-and-go, and other items and provides seating for about 84 customers inside and 24 more outside.

The CWU Board of Trustees approved the $40 million project in 2017, the first CWU project to use a progressive design-build method, which ensured on-time, on-budget completion. Construction, including 250 new parking spaces that were added behind the residence facility, took just 15 months to complete. 

Mahlum Architects designed the facility while Lydig Construction served as the general contractor.

The project was funded through proceeds from a special bond sale and did not require state funds or tuition dollars to complete. 

The residence facility is named in honor of William “Owen” Dugmore, who taught in CWU’s Department of Psychology from 1969 to 2014, and provided personal counseling services to students at the Student Medical and Counseling Clinic. In 2017, the university presented him with professor emeritus status for his 45 years of service.

In January 2018, Dugmore died, leaving his entire estate of nearly $1.2 million to the university. It was the largest gift presented to CWU in modern history. The donation provides financial support for scholarship endowments in the music and psychology departments, and the university’s counseling center.


Media contact: Robert Lowery, Department of Public Affairs, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,