Shiny new Science II on schedule

Matt Escamilla

Providing opportunities for students and its faculty is the purpose of a university, and modernizing the campus with new structures and technologies will ensure it continues to accomplish that goal for generations to come.


Central put that truth to work when it decided to begin  the Science II project.


On schedule for 2016 completion


So far, the Science II project is on schedule according to Bill Yarwood, capital planning and projects director.


“The Science II building construction is 75% complete.  The project is on budget and on schedule,” Yarwood said.


Total Project Cost: ~$61,193,000.00 Move-in: August 2016”


New Toys for Science Majors


“The new building will give us access to modern classrooms, laboratories, and instrumentation. Therefore, we will be able to teach in different ways than we have been and there will be new directions that we can go with our research,” Dr. Carey Gazis, associate professor in the geology department, said.


According to Gazis, additions will include an ice core laboratory, freezer room, and a geochemistry classroom.


“We will also have some new instruments like a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), which is used for detailed microscopic images of mineral and other surfaces,” Gazis said.


The new building also makes room for the increased student enrollment in the physics department over the last several years.


“The number of Physics majors has more than tripled, and the number of faculty has more than doubled,” Andrew Piacsek, associate professor and chair of the physics department, said.  “The new building will provide the space and resources needed by our expanded program and will accommodate expected additional growth.”


Additions for the physics department include a 24 inch telescope, observation platform, and 75 seat planetarium Piacsek said.


New projects benefit the community too


The Physics department hosts many visiting students (grades 2-10), as well as the general public, for educational demonstrations and shows. Often, these are run by students in the Physics club.


Piacsek hopes that the new building will serve as a recruiting tool for potential Central students.
“We haven’t been polling new students about why they choose to attend CWU (although we will start to do that this year,”) Piacsek said. “But I expect that the impact of the new building on enrollment will be felt over the next  4-7 years, starting next year.”