By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

Will Getz-Short Apartment Complex be demolished?

BY Riley Elliott

Staff Reporter


In the future, Central plans to demolish and replace the existing Getz-Short Apartment Complex on the south end of campus, situated along University Way and North Ruby Street. The complex was built in the 1960s, but has not received a significant renovation since.

The 2005 Comprehensive Housing Master Plan recommended a Getz-Short renovation to continue its useful life for another 30 years or more.

Central’s board of trustees predict the project to cost an estimated $11 million dollars.

Bill Yarwood, director of facilities planning and construction, said the university is constantly evaluating existing buildings for improvement, and saw Getz-Short to be next in line.

“The existing built-up roof is showing clear signs of wear, as the last re-roofing project was in 1971. Another specific issue is the mechanical and plumbing penetrations,” Yarwood said, “The concrete building needs to be brought up to modern standards.”

The building’s brickwork is cracking, particularly at the south- east corner of the two- bedroom block. In addition, there appears to be water intrusions issues around window openings.

The complex is very popular with students due to its proximity to both campus and downtown shopping. The facility consists of one and two bedroom units that house up to 60 students who are 21 or older.

Devin Parvinen, information technology administrative management senior, lived in the existing apartment complex last year. “The buildings were pretty run down, yet the location was really nice, I walked everywhere” Parvinen said, “My big thing I would like to see change during the remodel is new doors, windows, and floors. Most of the apartments still have the original floor tile, which is know to contain asbestos.”

The building does not meet Fire Protection codes or ADA Compliance codes and is not served by an appropriate sprinkler system. The second story unites are only accessed by stairs and would not be considered reachable without the installation of an elevator or approved lifting device.

Joanne Hilleman, manager, facilities planning and construction, said the project was originally going to be a renovation. Central’s architects found so many issues in the building that it just made more financial sense to replace it completely.

The existing windows are aluminum framed with single-pane glazing. At the unit interior, windows show clear evidence of condensation issues with resulting finish damage and potential for mold. By today’s standards, these windows are “energy inefficient.” In general terms, the interior finishes are in need of updating.

Hilleman and Central’s building committee will manage the Getz-Short replacement project. “The new buildings will be three stories, with elevator and wheel chair access to every apartment,” Hilleman said, “I want to provide up-to-date market rate housing for university students that are safe, accessible, and easily maintained.”

Linda Schactler, chief of staff and executive director, said the location fits very well with campus life, but the corrupted building is in desperate need of a replacement.

“We are still debating how to pay for Getz-Short Apartment Replacement Project,” Schactler said.

Construction for the building won’t start for at least another year.

The Getz-Short project is waiting for a funding bid. Further details on the budget timeline will be released by the end of April, early May.

“Our goal is to be on schedule and budget, while providing admirable facilities that are built to last,” Yarwood said, “All we want to do is improve our campus look and the quality of life outside of the classroom.”

More to Discover