ROTC may inherit CHCI facilities


Colt Sweetland, Staff Reporter


Central Washington University is requesting funds to renovate the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute (CHCI) to prepare for the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) to move in.

Former CHCI director, Mary Lee Jensvold, has been trying to find a new building. In the new building, the students will be working with archival data in the program, rather than live animals.

“There is no way to replicate the sort of experience that students had in a new building,” Jensvold said.

The CHCI was developed specifically to house chimpanzees, but the chimpanzees have since been relocated to Quebec, Canada.

Jensvold said that there are no plans to bring chimpanzees back to Central, and that she is searching for a replacement building for the data.

“I have requested a building to relocate the archives in the CHCI building to a new location, but there is no place available yet for certain,” Jensvold said.

Currently, there are Central graduate students in Quebec recording the chimpanzees in their adjustment to a new location and lifestyle.

The Washington state legislature has a budget of around $100 million – 150 million in supplemental funds for the entire state.

Central is requesting $9.9 million for a replacement for Peterson Hall, which currently houses Central’s ROTC program.

Bryan Elliott, a senior in the Army ROTC program and a political science major, said that it is time for the ROTC to relocate into a more stable building.

“The plan so far is to keep the old building [Peterson] and use it as an administrative place for the offices, and use the newly renovated building for classrooms,” Elliott said.

The transition to a new building will benefit the ROTC program because Peterson Hall does not have enough space for all of the cadets in the program. Some of the cadets are overflowing into the psychology building, Elliott said.

“Since there is not a lot of money in the supplemental budget for this year, I think it will be difficult,” Elliott said.

Bill Yarwood, director of Facilities Planning and Construction, said that his staff has created a portfolio that details the problems with Peterson Hall and why it would make sense to renovate the CHCI building.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed, and we should know by April if the request will be accepted,” Yarwood said.

The project is being named as a replacement project for Peterson Hall, and the university is eager to find a replacement for the nationally recognized ROTC program at Central, according to Yarwood.

“I think we created a good story of why it needs to be replaced, and it ties into some long term planning that we are doing,” said Yarwood.

Besides the ROTC relocation process, there are other projects that will be completed in the future that will affect students such as the Science Phase II building and the Samuelson building, according to Yarwood.

“We are in the process of putting together another portfolio that is prioritizing all of the current projects at Central, so they can be submitted to the Board of Trustees in April,” said Yarwood.