By ALEA THORNE
The Washington State Legislature has approved the construction budget of $61 million over two years for the new science building at Central Washington University.
The university expects that the construction contract will be given in January 2014.
For more than 15 years, the second phase of the science building has been put on hold due to budget issues. The construction process can now begin with the approved funds.
Phase II will house the department of physics, geological sciences, and Center of Excellence in Science and Math (CESME), previously housed by Lind and Hebeler Halls.
“By moving the sciences into the new building it will help keep all science programs close together,” Bill Yarwood CWU facilities drector said.
Lind Hall will become a resource center for counseling services, academic help, and advising.
“It’s changing to a one stop shop for student base support,” Yarwood said. ”Where placing all student purpose facility services all in one building.”
Science phase II plan reveals several new features to the building, inclduing larger lab spaces with capacities for 80 students and lecture halls that could hold 120 students.
“The space in the lecture hall and labs will allow for more students to enroll in classes each quarter,” Joanne Hillemann a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-accredited professional said.
The plan also includes an observatory on the fourth floor with a roof accessible for telescopes.
“There will be interactive displays throughout the building to make it as interactive as possible for students,” Hillemann said.
There will also be interactive displays on the inside of the building, as well as landscaping features on the outside that are useful to the geology department.
“The landscape will teach them about different rocks in certain areas,” Hillemann said “It will give them an aesthetics landscape experience.”