OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Senate unanimously passed its capital budget plan on Thursday, which includes $60 million for a long-awaited new science building at Eastern Washington University.
Sen. Michael Baumgartner praised the project as a huge accomplishment for the university.
“The need for increased science education is clear. This budget delivers it,” said Bamgartner. “We're very proud of the world-class education EWU delivers and I fought hard to reward their efforts by delivering the funding they need to make this project a reality.”
The current 55-year-old Science building lacks space and up-to-date health and safety standards.
Crowded lab environments with ventilation concerns alo demanded a more modern facility.
An increased demand for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) classes, pushed the university to look for ways to offer more classes.
The Senate operating budget passed last week included openings for 1,800 new Washington resident students with 70 percent targeted to STEM majors. This results in 300 new student openings at EWU between 2017 and 2019 with 210 slotted for STEM students.
EWU received funding in 2009 to complete pre-design work on a new interdisciplinary science building, but theproject has remained on hold until funds could be provided to complete the design and construction phase.