Health Science building construction will continue

Ty Mcphee, Staff Reporter

Construction for the new Health Sciences building will be continuing despite Gov. Jay Inslee’s statewide COVID-19 restrictions. 

The CWU Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting on March 31 was held online following Inslee’s stay-at-home order. President James L. Gaudino addressed the ongoing construction of the new Health Sciences building and how the social distancing restrictions of six feet may affect the progress of construction.

“There is some impact, a minimal impact to construction on campus,” Gaudino said.

While the effects of COVID-19 will be felt during the construction of the building, they won’t be stopping TW Clark Construction. 

“Health Science is going vertical. Meaning the infrastructure for the walls is starting to go up,” Gaudino said. “That work is all outside, social distancing can be maintained, so that work is ongoing.” 

It’s unclear what steps will be taken once the construction transitions from the outdoor phase to indoors where workers will be in much closer proximity.

It has not yet been announced whether COVID-19 will cause delays to the completion of the construction. With the possibility of Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order’s end date getting pushed back beyond May 4, it can’t be predicted whether there will be any delays on the completion of the building.

Construction is still considered an essential business according to the Washington state’s official COVID-19 website, which states it’s okay for workers to continue operating if they are workers who support the construction for essential facilities, services and projects.

The construction began late November 2019 after the demolition of Hertz Hall in spring 2019 and is projected to continue for the next two years. The Health Sciences building is being built in conjunction with the other buildings in the science neighborhood including Science, Discovery and Samuelson Halls.