$35 million funding request for final construction stages of new health sciences building


Matt Escamilla, Staff Reporter

A $35 million request by the health and science department to secure the final stage of state funding for the construction of the new health and science building is under consideration by the state of Washington. Gov. Inslee approved $32 million for the project in December. According to Ethan Bergman, department chair of health sciences, the department hopes to hear whether the request is approved by April or May.

“If the bids come in lower than we expect, there may not need to be any adjustments. If we receive $32 million from the state and the bids come in at $35 million, then we will need to work with the architects to see where we can trim the budget. Basically, we will ask the question: what can we live without,” Bergman said.

“Once we know the target number [budget] we will make adjustments in collaboration with our administration and the facility users,” said Doug Ryder, facilities planning officer at CWU.

After the financial adjustments are made, a process known as bids will take place. Construction companies will submit a total cost budget to construct the health sciences building.

Knowing the full cost of a project is key to ensure project funds are spent efficiently. According to Ryder, Facilities management likes to see four to six bids come in to make sure the bid for a potential project is as competitive as possible.

The building is replacing Hertz hall, which is scheduled to be demolished in March. Construction of the building will start in the summer and will be completed in the fall of 2021.

According to Bergman, one of the things faculty, staff and students look forward to is having the department under one roof which isn’t the case at the moment. The health sciences department is currently spread throughout campus, and teachers have offices in Black Hall and Michaelsen hall.

“It’s definitely a task because I could be here on one side of campus and have my next class be on the completely other side of campus or not knowing exactly where classes are from day to day,”said Cameron Price a junior majoring in clinical psychology.

According to an enrollment query, the health science department has seen a growth in student credit hour generation. According to Bergman, student credit hour generation is determined by multiplying the number of credits for a class by the enrollment for that class. For example, if Nutrition 101 is a 5 credit class and there are 100 people in the class that generates 500 student credit hours.

In the last 4 years. there has been a 17 percent growth in student credit hour generation in the Department of Health and Sciences.

“We’re trying to provide the needs for society for healthcare providers [workers],” said Bergman.