Capital budget to pay for new Health and Science building


Jack Belcher, Senior News Reporter

CWU was approved for $33 million in the new state capital budget in January. Although this is about a third of what the state awarded the university in its 2015-2017 budget, according to CFO and Vice President of Business and Financial Affairs Joel Klucking, CWU is very grateful to have gotten this amount which included $23 million for a new Health and Science building.

“What is happening with the state capital budget right now is that there are a lot of new K-12 facilities being built,” Klucking said. “There is so much new development of K-12 facilities that it crowded out the amount of money for higher ed. Considering the pool available was smaller this year, we feel very blessed.”

Washington’s current budgetary focus is on public schooling. Last June, the state approved a plan that would boost public-school spending by $7.3 billion over four years. Then, in December, the Supreme Court ruled that the state needed to add another $1 billion for teachers’ salaries.

Most of the new budget is going towards the new Health Sciences building that will replace Hertz Hall, which is set to be demolished winter quarter of 2019. Twenty-three million of the $33 million will go into this project, which is only about half of the funding needed for the project. This new building will provide the university with over 80,000 square feet of room to expand departments such as exercise sciences, clinical physiology, nutrition paramedicine and other public health programs.

“We have been very fortunate in the last two or three years, we have gotten a lot of major capital investment through the science building. You can look all the way back to Hogue Hall, which was done in 2012, Science II Samuelson and now the health and sciences building,” Klucking said. “Compared to other four-year institutions, we have done disproportionately well. So, the state is definitely helping us take care of this campus and keeping it modern and functional.”

The other $10 million that the university gets will be split. $2.4 million will be spent on maintenance and building system repairs, while $7.5 million will be for minor works. These minor works are projects that are on a much smaller scale, such as getting a new roof for a science building.