Campus Construction Update: March 2021

Alma Clark Glass Hall, the new residence on the Ridge, is now almost completely closed in, with a few more windows being installed and roof work and trim almost complete. Painting is occurring in the south wing and is moving north through the building as walls are finished. Heating and ventilating, electrical, plumbing, security and communication work is ongoing. Exterior siding is proceeding around the building.  

The Ridgeway Commons renovation is nearly finished, including two new gender-neutral restrooms and an ADA ramp into the building. The remaining work, installation of the elevator, is anticipated to be complete in June. 

Bryan Potter, with Bryan Potter Design, and Anita Yap, with MultiCultural Collaborative, have joined the team to facilitate engaging students and other Western and community members in discovering, curating and installing graphics and artwork to celebrate diversity and the life of Alma Clark Glass.  

The new residence hall of approximately 85,000 square feet, located on the site of the former Highland Hall and Lounge, will offer approximately 400 beds in a mix of room types, including semi-suites, full suites, and studio single apartments. The project will provide a net gain of 277 beds after accounting for the loss of Highland Hall and is expected to be ready for student occupancy in Fall Quarter 2021. 

Interdisciplinary Science Building 

After celebrating its “topping out,” a ceremony marking the placement of the last piece of structural steel in the building, on Feb. 5, the Interdisciplinary Science Building’s (ISB) concrete superstructure has now been completed. The exterior window glazing system and exterior insulation are currently being installed, along with interior metal studs and heating and ventilating ducting and piping. 

In the next few weeks, fiber cement wall panels will be placed, and the steel for the connecting bridge from the Biology Building to the ISB will be installed the week of March 22. Need for the tower crane will be finished and the crane dismantled on March 27. The project is on track for a Spring Quarter 2022 occupancy. 

The ISB will add essential teaching labs and active learning classrooms to meet the growing need for degree programs in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. The building will feature teaching labs for Biology and Chemistry and shared flex lab spaces, along with active learning classrooms. Flexible spaces will allow for shared use and greater collaboration, support the Washington state goal of increasing STEM graduates, increase opportunities across the STEM fields, and reduce barriers to fulfilling graduation requirements both in STEM and non-STEM disciplines.  

Kaiser-Borsari Hall 

The design team of Perkins + Will is finishing Schematic Design on Western’s proposed new electrical engineering and computer science project, which will consist of a new building, Kaiser-Borsari Hall, and renovation of spaces within the existing Communications Facility. 

To help Western attain its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2035, the project team continues to explore the feasibility of achieving Living Building Challenge Energy Petal Certification, which includes Net Zero energy use, as well as Net Zero carbon impact.  

The project represents a funding partnership that aims to leverage state funds with private donations through the Western Foundation’s “Building Washington’s Future” capital campaign. The campaign is well on its way to achieving the goal with nearly 100 donors already committed to the project. For more information on the campaign, see:

The new building is proposed to be approximately 60,000 square feet, consisting of teaching labs, learning research labs, active learning classrooms, collaborative space, and academic administrative space. The renovation portion will modernize approximately 20,000 square feet of class labs and collaborative space in the Communications Facility.  

The new building and existing Communications Facility will be connected on three floors, maximizing program efficiencies and increasing collaboration opportunities. The project is expected to be completed in 2024 if state funding can be secured during the 2021 Legislative Session.