CWU News

Discovery Hall Featured In American School and University Magazine

Discovery Hall building at Central Washington University.

One of the buildings on the CWU-Ellensburg campus has caught the attention of American School and University Magazine, a publication dedicated to advancing design ideologies for educational spaces across the U.S. 

Discovery Hall, located in the center of campus, was featured in the May/June 2021 issue of the bi-monthly magazine as an example of excellence in design of a science-oriented facility.

The article cites the building’s modern, open spaces and vibrant educational displays as central to its role as an interdisciplinary center of research and inquiry. The building, constructed in 2016, is designed to capture and utilize natural light on every floor, with skylights and large windows providing illumination in every corner of the building. 

The focus on energy efficiency and modern design philosophy are part of a larger plan to demonstrate to prospective and current students that CWU takes science seriously and is trying to ensure that a high-quality STEM education is accessible to everyone.

Discovery Hall’s observatory tower is one of the more recognizable landmarks on campus, which is also by design. The free-standing structure is flanked by a telescope deck on the main building’s roof, allowing students to set up their stargazing equipment alongside their peers and gaze at the universe as a scientific community. 

This echoes Discovery’s overall emphasis on collaboration, inside the classroom and across disciplines. While a traditional campus building might separate fields of study by floor, Discovery’s classrooms are mixed, meaning students in different fields are more likely to meet and interact in one of the building’s many common spaces. American School and University Magazine recognizes this as an emerging design principle within education, and one Discovery has followed successfully.

Discovery Hall is one of many investments CWU is making in STEM education to provide students with the resources and spaces they need to go wherever their curiosity takes them.

Media contact: Rune Torgersen, Department of Public Affairs,