New science building funded as legislature approves capital budget


Due to the 2017-19 capital budget being passed by the state legislature last week, the new EWU Interdisciplinary Science Center is moving forward with construction | Photo courtesy of EWU

By Brandon Cline, Editor in Chief

The quest for a new science building on the EWU campus took a big step forward last week, as Governor Jay Inslee signed the $4.2 billion 2017-19 capital budget on Jan. 19 after the Washington State Legislature approved the budget in both chambers earlier in the week.

The capital budget, which invests in infrastructure projects throughout the state, includes the $67 million that EWU requested for the construction of a new science building, the Interdisciplinary Science Center (ISC).

According to a press release from EWU, the allocation from the capital budget means that EWU can put the ISC project out for bids immediately. Construction could start as early as the fall of 2018, and is projected to take from 24 to 28 months to complete.

“I’m extremely grateful to lawmakers for this much needed appropriation,” said EWU President Mary Cullinan in the press release. “And I also appreciate the hard work of key stakeholders on campus and in our local communities who have worked hard on this proposal.”

EWU’s current science building is 47 years old, and Cullinan says it’s “no longer adequate for our students, faculty and staff.” The university hopes to eventually renovate the science building for research labs, classrooms and extra space.

The ISC will be connected to the current science building with enclosed walkways, according to the press release. The project calls for a state-of-the-art science building, which will be able to meet the needs of modern day STEM programs such as biology, geology, chemistry, biochemistry and physics.

Other buildings on the EWU campus that have been funded due to the capital budget include Patterson Hall, the Computing and Engineering Sciences Building and snyamncut Residence Hall.