Demolition continues on a $70 million project to renovate Western Washington University’s Sam Carver Gymnasium.
In addition to the athletic activities held there, more than 300 classes and labs are taught in the building each year, according to the school. The full cost of the construction project has been estimated at $73 million and is scheduled to be completed by spring 2017, said WWU spokesman Paul Cocke.
The current facility does not meet earthquake requirements. Piping failures have dumped thousands of gallons of raw sewage underneath the building, and many mechanical systems have shut down, according to the university.
The renovation will add seismic reinforcement, replace aging systems, and improve access for the disabled. It also will add classrooms for the university’s physical education, health and recreation program, the largest and fastest-growing academic department at Western, Cocke said.
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Out of the $70 million in state funding, $6 million will need to be paid back by Western over a time frame yet to be determined.