CWU News

CWU Trustees Greenlight Housing, Recreation, and Athletics Development

The Central Washington University Board of Trustees today unanimously approved three proposals that address demand for student housing and recreation, and the need to update aging athletic facilities.

“These three projects are in direct response to critical campus needs,” noted CWU President James L. Gaudino. “We’ve experienced record freshman enrollment growth over the past three years, which has placed unprecedented demands on our residence and recreation facilities.”

The trustees approved a new 400-bed residence hall on the northeast corner of E. Dean Nicholson Boulevard and N. Wildcat Way. The state does not fund residence facilities, so the university will bond for the $45-million building. The project will require demolition of two facilities in poor condition: Peterson Hall, former home of the CWU ROTC programs, and the facility that housed the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute, which closed in 2013.

The new residence hall, slated to open fall 2019, will include meeting space to meet campus wide programming needs, and will achieve at least a minimum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, indicating the building meets the most up-to-date environmental design standards. Chief Financial Officer, Joel Klucking, said the new residence hall will relieve some pressure on the local housing market.

“We’ve heard loud and clear from the community that the university shouldn’t fall behind in accommodating student housing needs,” said Klucking, noting that the university has added 670 beds since 2009. “In order to make the new residence hall as attractive as possible to students, we’ll include one of the branded dining alternatives students have been asking for.”

Additionally, the board approved the construction of a track facility in the southeast corner of N. Wildcat Way and 18th Avenue. It will be the first addition to student recreational facilities since 2006 when the Student Union and Recreation Center opened. The project, which will include lighting, perimeter fencing, and year-round turf, replaces a crumbling, nearly 60-year-old track that is currently located inside of Tomlinson Stadium. Funding for the facility, scheduled to open fall 2018, will come from the Recreation Fee reserve account.

The $4-million expansion will meet specifications for NCAA competition and serve CWU recreation organizations as well as non-CWU organizations and CWU units outside of the recreation department, such as varsity athletics. The latter groups will pay to use the facility.

The third capital project approved by the board is a $4-million renovation of Tomlinson Stadium, which was built in 1959 and has not been significantly renovated since. With the removal of the track, the stadium playing field can be expanded to accommodate rugby and soccer as well as football.

The project adds artificial turf and lights and upgrades to the entrance gates, perimeter fencing and restrooms. Funding will be provided by the CWU Foundation through private donations according to Vice President for University Advancement, Scott Wade. The Foundation is still aggressively fundraising to meet the $4 million required to complete the project, which will be operational for the fall 2018 season.

“This project is a game changer for the University – it will build greater connection and capacity for Central as well as the surrounding community,” Wade said. “The impact that these facility improvements will have on our student experience as well as our alumni engagement cannot be overstated.”

Media contact: Richard Moreno, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-2714,