L&L and Farrell Hall to possibly see new construction after Gov. Inslee’s proposed budget


Beau Sansom

Language and LIterature Building.

Morgana Carroll, News Editor

The governor’s proposed budget introduced by Gov. Jay Inslee in December will include the following renovations to CWU: a new North Academic Complex to replace the Language and Literature Building and Farrell Hall, beginning the design stage for a new Psychology Building, the pre-design phase for the new Art Education Complex and increased staff compensation.

According to President Jim Wohlpart, the largest request that CWU made this year was for $103.7 million to build a North Education Complex. The North Academic Complex, also known as the Humanities and Social Science Complex, will replace the Language and Literature building and Farrell Hall. 

According to Chief of Staff Andrew Morse, every two years CWU evaluates the needs of campus and the student body. The Capital Planning and Projects (CPP) and the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) deliberate what changes and updates the campus needs. CPP is also responsible for sending the submission, with the approval of the ELT and the President.

The legislature will decide what aspects of the proposal to keep after a budget assessment in March. According to Wohlpart a final decision is expected by the end of April. 

Wohlpart said the reason that these buildings were chosen to be replaced was because of the structural state they are in.    

“All these buildings are in pretty rough shape,” Wohlpart said. “To spend money trying to fix them would be throwing good money after bad. It just would not be a good choice.”

According to Wohlpart, these buildings have internal drain pipes that have begun to leak. The leaking has caused consistent water damage that has become expensive and tedious to repair. 

Farrell Hall also doesn’t have a solid foundation and has sunk into the ground. The sinking has made the building crooked, causing some of the doors to not shut entirely. 

Wohlpart said that the Language and Literature Building and Farrell Hall were built in the 1970s and therefore are not designed with energy efficiency in mind. The buildings are not currently complying with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) because they are made with brick and concrete interior walls. According to Wohlpart, tearing these buildings down would reduce energy consumption by 30% and save the university $80 million in repairs. 

Wohlpart said the reason he thought it was so important to make a new building for the humanities and social sciences is because of how vital the programs are to the student experience.

“These two buildings teach a lot of our general education, so they really teach a lot,” Wohlpart said. “Most of our students go through our Humanities and Social Sciences program.” 

The North Education Complex will be built north of the Language and Literature building, where all the international flags currently are. According to Wohlpart, the plan is to build a new plaza for the flags connected to the North Education Complex, and to save as many of the trees in that area as possible.

Wohlpart said the demolition of the Language and Literature building and Farrell Hall will not begin until after the building is built, so students in the humanities and social science programs will still have a place to learn during construction. 

Psychology and Art Education Complex plans

The second priority for CWU with the budget is the design for a new Psychology Building. The proposed budget has allocated $8.2 million into the design phase.

“We have a pretty good idea of what our Psychology Building will look like,” Wohlpart said. “We have a couple of potential sites.”

The two current options that Wohlpart mentioned are to either build the new building where the old one was before, or to put the new building where the Language and Literature building was. 

Wohplart said that the primary reason for the replacement of the Psychology Building is to mitigate greenhouse gasses.

“What we really want to do is make sure that we’re reducing our carbon footprint in all of the buildings that we’re building,” Wohlpart said. “Some of the [old] buildings have a really bad carbon footprint.” 

Another priority of CWU’s is to begin on the pre-design for the new Art Education Complex, which would replace Randall Hall and Michelson Hall. According to Wohlpart, the primary goal in the pre-design phase is figuring out where the building will go.

Wohlpart said the reason for a new art complex is due to poor accessibility. 

“If you’re in Randall or Michaelson halls, if you want to go to the faculty offices you either have to go up a set of stairs or down a set of stairs,” Wohlpart said. “If you’re in a wheelchair or disabled in any kind of way, you’re not able to get to the faculty offices.” 

Faculty Pay Increase

One of the other priorities in the budget is employee compensation. 

“We want to make sure that we’re giving faculty and staff a meaningful raise,” Wohlpart said.

Wohlpart said that the minimum the raise would be is 3-4%. Wohlpart said that usually the state only covers part of employee raises, which would likely amount to 2.5-3%, and they want the state to cover the whole amount.