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

Rope cutting in honor of Nicholson Pavilion’s reopening

Coal Butler
President Wohlpart, Senator Honeyford, Jim Gaudino and US Congressman Andy Barr cut the ribbon to the Nicolson Pavilion Building

Nicholson Pavilion’s rope cutting ceremony officially marked the end of renovations for the building, as well as a new era for CWU sports. Since the renovations started in March 2021, many new additions have been added including classroom upgrades, a larger fieldhouse and two new weight training areas.

Present at the ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 20 were President Jim Wohlpart, Washington state Senator Mark Schoesler, former CWU President Jim Gaudino and Dean of Professional Studies Sathyanarayanan Rajendran. Wohlpart started off the ceremony with a speech congratulating everyone who worked on the renovations.

“I’d like to recognize the many CWU employees who worked so hard to plan this project and to secure that state support,” Wohlpart said. He also celebrated the workers who have been remodeling the building.

Wohlpart also wished to recognize the work of the architects and construction workers who made the renovations possible. After congratulating the team, he passed the mic off to the Dean of College of Education and Professional Studies, Sathyanarayanan Rajendran. 

“The Nicholson Pavilion building has been home to many academic programs, such as physical education, school health, sports management, physical activity programs and dance,” Rajendran said. 

Rajendran started CWU in 2011 as a professor of safety and health management. He was named dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies in April 2022. Rajendran had a major part in the development of the building and how it was structured, helping plan out many of the rooms and facilities.

“The renovated facilities also provide faculty and staff from Northwest Center for Sports, the dedicated office and meeting spaces,” Rajendran said “You will also have a much larger dance studio and new Pilates studio to help us better serve our students.” 

After Rajendran had described the new facilities, he welcomed Dennis Francois, CWU’s athletic director, to share a few words about the building and its development. 

“I believe it is necessary to honor the past and those who have paved the way for our future successes,” Francois said. “In 1959 Nicholson Pavilion was constructed and named in honor of coach Leo Nicholson.” 

Leo Nicholson coached the men’s basketball team from 1929-1964. He had 505 career winning games and had the most wins until his son, Dean Nicholson, took over the team. Dean scored over 1377 points over the course of his career and brought CWU to their first-ever appearance in a national tournament in 1950. He and his father have been named the “winningest father son duo in NCAA basketball history,” according to Francois.

A major portion of the renovations were focused on the weight room and the sports medical clinic.

“Our 6000 square foot state of the art weight room, rivals most Division I programs and the expanded sports medicine clinic will greatly enhance our ability to keep our 425 plus student athletes competition ready or back on the field of play,” Francois said.

Another major focus of the renovations was the expansion of the field house. 

“The expanded field house includes a 65 meter, six lane track for our track and field program and a 25,000 square foot surface area of artificial turf that will allow our outdoor field sports to train indoors throughout the winter months, but also during times in which our air quality is not suitable for outdoor practice,” Francois said.


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