CWU Health Sciences

Construction of the new health sciences building on the Central Washington University campus has not been slowed by COVID. The building is slated to open January of 2022.

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The construction of the new Health Sciences building at Central Washington University has not been slowed by any outside factors, and according to CWU Director of Capital Planning and Projects Delano Palmer, “Nearly everything that could go right with the project, has gone right.”

The project will complete the science neighborhood at CWU, finishing the link between Science 1, 2 and Dean Hall.

The project has been in the works for 10 years, with a total cost of around $59 million. The building is located at the site of the old Hertz Hall, which was demolished so the university to clear the site for this structure. Students will be able to use the new building by January of 2022.

“We are on schedule as far as our construction. We have not been impacted by any of the supply chain issues related to COVID,” Palmer said. “As far as budget … we have not had to dip into our contingency pot on this project. This is thanks to one, a very healthy bidding season for us, two, the fact that we didn’t have any side conditions that we had to deal with, and then three, no issues with COVID and no major issues related to our construction. This has been an extremely successful construction project.”

The building will provide academic programs such as exercise science, clinical physiology, food science and nutrition, EMS paramedicine, integrative human physiology and public health.

The classrooms inside are built to support these programs, multiple food science kitchens where students can learn about and test different types of food products. There are also exercise science classrooms that are laid out in a line. Connecting doors can be opened to create a long hallway through multiple classrooms. A large scale is to be placed in the floor in the last classroom on the chain. An athlete will sprint through the classrooms until they reach the scale. The scale will record information from the sprint, which can be analyzed by students.

Rich Moreno, executive communication director at CWU said the building is made as sustainable as possible. The three-floor, 80,000 square feet building will have nearly 9,000 square feet of solar panels installed in it.

Palmer said there are a number of ways the university will heat the building. Heat exchangers were incorporated in the exhaust system to reduce overall energy needs. There is also a mechanical system designed to capture waste heat, Palmer said the university uses similar technology in Discovery and Samuelson Halls. Finally, a solar heat plenum is to be installed. A plenum is a type of ventilation system that heats air coming into the building.

“Our construction teams have been doing a great job, and our own capital facility management has been Johnny on the Spot when it comes to coordination,” Palmer said.

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