CWU aims to expand Nicholson Pavilion and Purser Hall by 2023

Katherine Camarata, Staff Reporter

On the horizon for CWU in 2022, the historic Nicholson Pavilion will have its first major upgrade since its construction in 1959. 

Approximately $55.5 million has been designated for the expansion and renovations of Nicholson Pavilion and Purser Hall, according to the CWU website. 

CWU intends to renovate classroom spaces and athletic facilities for Nicholson Pavilion and Purser Hall, renovate the basketball court and event center and open up the south entry of Nicholson Pavilion, according to Capital Planning and Projects Director Delano Palmer. 

Palmer said the plans also include a much-anticipated connection between Nicholson Pavilion and Purser Hall.

CWU Athletic Director Dennis Francois said the expansion will feature an increased seating capacity in the gymnasium, a new weight room and a new locker room. 

According to Francois, the renovations in the stadium will include replacing old vinyl banners with state-of-the-art video boards and installing new lights outside to enhance the student and fan experience. 

“These things are going to make the facility a little more big-time than where we’re at currently,” Francois said. 

Francois said he was excited about the impact that expanding the field house and installing turf inside will have on students. He said that outdoor field sports will be able to be offered during the winter months as a result. 

Francois said that he hopes these improvements will attract the “brightest and best” student athletes and coaches to help CWU athletics thrive. 

The expansion will include an updated security system that requires student card access on the exterior doors of the building as well as additional security cameras to provide cohesion with the rest of the campus, according to Palmer.

The news of the Nicholson Pavilion expansion thrilled many athletes on campus.

Senior communications major and women’s Rugby player Keia Mae Sagapolu said, “I think this is going to be really beneficial for not only my team, but for all the teams.”

Sagapolu has been training at Nicholson Pavilion for four years and she is looking forward to an updated space.

“I always hoped to see a change in the weight room,” Sagapolu said. “I can’t wait to work out when it’s all complete.”

Junior in Business Sarah Bohl said she was delighted to hear that the school is planning big changes to benefit students. 

“The Pavilion was already cool how it looked from the inside and out, and to see what they come up with would be cool to look forward to,” Bohl said. 

Palmer said he hopes the historic feel of Nicholson Pavilion will be preserved. 

“Nicholson Pavilion has always had a very engaging aesthetic associated with the cable system on the outside of the structure,” Palmer said. “To have some enhancement of the exterior as well as the interior will hopefully captivate … the CWU spirit.”

According to Palmer, the project is set to begin in 2022 after contractors have been selected. The estimated completion date for the expansion is set for 2023. 


Contributions by Isaiah Saleveo