2015 Legislative Session Begins
March 5, 2015
The Case For Carver
For the third biennium in a row, the Carver Academic Facility is Western’s top capital budget request. Carver is not only Western’s most heavily-used building on campus, it is also the largest indoor assembly space in Whatcom County, and it is in urgent need of renovation. The state has already invested $7 million in design funding; acting now to renovate Carver will ensure that this funding does not go to waste.
There are many reasons why a renovation of Carver is needed, but perhaps none are greater than the need to strengthen seismic stability and improve accessibility throughout the building. The safety of the complex is a great concern, with parts of the building scoring a 5 out of 100 on a scale of seismic stability. Funding for renovation of Carver would help ensure that students and faculty in the facility would be safe in the event of an earthquake. Additionally, Carver is not currently compliant with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) because portions of the building are not fully accessible. A renovated Carver would comply with ADA regulations and would be equally accessible throughout the facility.
Carver houses more than 300 academic classes and labs each year and is home to Western’s fastest growing major – Kinesiology – which prepares students to join various health professions. Renovating Carver would allow Western to add new classrooms and labs to support an additional 185 graduates per year.
With outdated equipment, some dating back nearly 80 years to its original construction, renovating Carver would give the building at least a LEED silver rating and make the building more efficient in terms of energy use and maintenance.
In the coming weeks, the House and Senate will be releasing their capital budget proposals and outlining their priorities for state funding. Carver is the highest ranking major construction project on the Office of Financial Management’s 2015 single prioritized list of higher education capital budget projects, highlighting that the time has come to fully fund the project. We hope that legislators in the House and Senate will agree.
Until next time, go Vikings!
For additional information about Carver, please click here.