CWU’s ROTC Program Struggles with Outdated Building

By Kyle Fenton

Peterson Hall, or the ROTC building, has been out dated and on the brink of being condemned since Lieutenant Colonel Scott Carpenter has been here at CWU.

It is ironic the lack of funding our ROTC program is getting when it comes to facilities, considering how the Wildcat Battalion ranks highly among other ROTC programs in the nation. The awards our program has won trump most other programs, and the Elite Cadets that CWU will put into active service are in dire need of better facilities.

Peterson Hall’s history traces back throughout the years it used to be an apartment complex before it was part of the University’s campus.

It was once the campus radio station, and still has an old sound booth in it. At one point it was a cadaver lab, and also a small campus gym. Currently it is used for administration offices for Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC, as well as classrooms and a storage facility.

Safety Issues

“This place didn’t even have smoke detectors when I got here, and I said you got to at least put smoke detectors in here because you’re liable for all the students,” Carpenter said.

Cracks in the asphalt have led to some ROTC members to roll an ankle during drills.
Cracks in the asphalt have led to some ROTC members to roll an ankle during drills.

Peterson Hall is the motel-esque building, located in North Campus, with the cracked blacktop basketball court that doubles as a marching pad. There are literally potholes and earthquake sized cracks in the asphalt covering almost every part of it.

Andrew Van Den Hoek, scholarship and enrollment manager for the ROTC program, jokingly called them ankle breaker’s, referring to all the cracks in the asphalt. He then quickly confirmed that cadets have tripped and fallen while doing marching drills out on that same slab of asphalt.

Carpenter said that Peterson Hall is so out of date and out of code that if the ROTC program weren’t occupying this building the fire dept would say no one else would be allowed here, because they think the military folk will take good care of it.

Van Den Hoek, said they have to be very careful where they put furniture in the main offices because of out dated wall heaters and possible fire hazards.


Problems at the Capitol

Carpenter said that the university has been in full support of helping the ROTC program get a new building, the problem is state legislatures keep disapproving it every time the university’s approval goes to Olympia. The last time it was proposed to Olympia was 2012.

“When I was a cadet here you tried not to sit behind one of the poles so you could see and learn the training,” Van Den Hoek said, referring to the terrible layout of the classrooms in Peterson Hall.

“The end result cannot be to not put us nowhere until this building collapses,” Carpenter said.