New PUB renovation still on course for fall opening


A rendering of the PUB coming from the courtyard. The project will cost an estimated $40 million paid for through student fees | Rendering courtesy of EWU

By Jeremy Burnham, Reporter

The PUB is still on schedule to open for the fall 2018 quarter, according to EWU school officials.

“The winter has been kind to us,” said Daniel Clapp, EWU’s PUB director. “We hope to be able to stay on track.”

Troy Bester, EWU’s project manager for the PUB’s remodel, confirmed by email that the opening date hasn’t changed. Bester also said that students will start seeing exterior perimeter site construction in March.

Clapp said that if delays were to arise, a strategy to communicate the details would be developed so that students would be able stay informed.

Construction for the renovation started in fall 2016. Student fees are paying for the $40 million project. Clapp says while the overall cost is now projected to be around $47 million, the construction itself is still at $40 million. He also said the university has contributed some money.

Construction of the PUB has continued throughout the winter. The PUB is on track to reopen in time for the beginning of the fall 2018 quarter | Andrew Watson for The Easterner

“The student portion has not increased,” Clapp said.

Students are currently paying $65 per quarter for the PUB. Once the building opens, that amount is scheduled to increase to $85 per quarter.

“The fee funds construction, debt, operations, maintenance, renewal, and replacement,” Clapp said.

When asked when these student fees would end, Clapp referred The Easterner to Toni Habbeger, EWU’s Chief Financial Officer. Messages to Habbeger regarding this issue have been unreturned as of the time of this publication. The Easterner also contacted Christopher Ryckman, ASEWU’s director of finance, who is on the PUB’s steering committee. Ryckman declined to comment, and referred The Easterner to Habbeger.

The three-story building will house the EWU bookstore on the first floor. The first floor will also feature a student lounge area, a large multi-purpose room and three dining options, including an “Asian Cuisine” concept that is still being developed.

The second floor features a multi-room gaming lounge. The gaming lounge will include an area for table games, an area where gaming computers will be setup and a projector for gaming consoles. The table games that will be featured are not finalized, but pool, foosball and shuffleboard are possibilities.

The second floor will also feature a large dining room, ASEWU offices, a convenience store and a computer lounge.

Student life, career services, clubs and organizations, the Multicultural Center, and the Pride Center are all housed on the top floor, which also features more meeting spaces and two more student lounge areas.

In addition to the Asian cuisine concept, dining options will include a global café, a revamped Pence Union Market and Freshens Smoothies, which will also serve Starbucks coffee.

All three floors will feature all-gender restrooms.

Clapp said he hopes the building will provide a center of community, something the school hasn’t had since the PUB closed in 2016.

“I’m excited to see how the new building will positively influence the community experience,” Clapp said.

Clapp also said that the building will provide more on-campus student employment. Eight to 12 students will be hired to staff the information desk. In addition, dining services will be hiring students for the restaurants.