Sustainability Cafe rounds out the school year revealing new climate action plan


Photo Courtesy of Pixels

Ryan Gildersleeve, Staff Reporter

The new climate action plan, which includes changes to the very foundation of CWU’s campus, was introduced at the sustainability cafe on Tuesday, May 21. The plan includes the intent to reconstruct both Ferrell Hall and the Language Literature building into an eco-friendly learning hub in north campus.  

Jeff Bousson was the head speaker at the event, as he is CWU’s sustainability coordinator and a primary contributor to this climate plan. At the cafe, the developing plan was outlined and revealed to the community. 

“We’re going to be demoing the L&L building and the Ferrell Hall building so we can build out the North Academic Complex,” Bousson said. “That will be a state of the art building that’ll be super efficient It’s going to serve as a great model for other higher ed institutions to learn more about how we design and construct our buildings.” 

According to Bousson, the new North Academic Complex will not be just another standard building. The new building will be solely run on geo-thermal energy. (See:  L&L and Farrell Hall to possibly see new construction after Gov. Inslee’s proposed budget)

“The North Academic Complex is going to be heated and cooled entirely by geo-thermal,” Bousson said. “We’re going to have an eco-center plant sitting adjacent to the Complex on the north side of Dean NicholsonWe’re going to have a dashboard where we’ll showcase the importance of how this system works, why it matters, and how it highlights our commitment to sustainability and a decarbonized future.”

CWU’s sustainability board is made up of a mix of faculty across CWU that come together to discuss sustainability-related issues. Ryan McGuckin is a CWU alum who joined the sustainability board and currently holds the position of Sustainability and Service Coordinator at Student Leadership, Involvement, & Community Engagement (SLICE).

“This is happening,” McGuckin said. “This is the very first climate action plan that’ll ever be implemented and created for CWU, so it’s super exciting that it’s actually happening.If students want to learn more about it, going to those sustainability cafes is a good way to get your voice heard in the process of these changes happening.” 

Looking toward the future, students will have to wait till the Fall to attend another sustainability cafe, with dates already set for the event’s return and potential restructuring. 

“The way we’ve restructured the sustainability cafe’s is so they function as forums,” Bousson said We’ve had two of these events in the Spring and will have two more in the Fall, with scheduled for 3 p.m. October 4, and the next one on November 1.These are the two events where it doesn’t matter how much or how little you know about sustainability and climate. This is going to be your opportunity to learn more about what our campus is doing around sustainability and climate.”