Dear Eagle Family and Friends:
As we race through fall term, the days shorten, the temperatures cool, and exciting things continue to happen at EWU.
Football Stadium Pre-design
In developing a solid fundraising plan for renovating our football stadium, we’ve selected ALSC Architects of Spokane for pre-design services. ALSC is familiar with EWU and has an excellent track record with sports projects in our region.
Together with ALSC, we’re developing a thorough design process. Focus groups representing our constituencies (including students, faculty and staff, athletic staff, donors, alumni, board members, and media partners) are already being interviewed by ALSC staff to gather thoughts, needs, and concerns about the stadium.
ALSC will produce summaries and lists of priorities that will be circulated to the focus groups for further feedback.
Our goal is to have a pre-design plan finished by the end of January. We want to move quickly, but we also want a thorough, consultative process. The project must address needs and also be based on a solid business plan since we cannot use state dollars to build or remodel athletic facilities.
As we set goals for the legislative session in January, we’ve established clear priorities. Like the other state universities in Washington, EWU faces declining state support. We want to keep tuition as low as possible for our students, but we need state funding for employee salaries. In this session, EWU seeks commitment from the legislature to fully fund the compensation increases recommended in the budget.
Also, having broken ground for the Interdisciplinary Science Building in July, we’re now asking lawmakers for design money to remodel our existing science building. STEM degrees are the fastest growing disciplines at Eastern. To be successful, our students need updated science labs and classrooms.
And, as the need for engineers continues to grow exponentially, we’re requesting the legislature to provide seed money for EWU to offer civil engineering and computer engineering degree options.
EWU provides tremendous benefit to this state. I’m hopeful that the legislature will support our requests.
I’m delighted to write that EWU has received a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to help support our Palouse Prairie Restoration Project. This initiative will restore EWU farmland to native habitat, preserving natural land and fostering research and educational opportunities.
Faculty from across disciplines are working with campus staff and community members on ways to use the space as a living laboratory. A network of trails will invite users to explore the landscape and connect with the bioregion. Historical and science-based information kiosks will inform visitors of the region’s natural and cultural heritage, in addition to research projects and hands-on learning experiences taking place on-site.
This is an exciting, multi-year project. We’re in the initial stages of project design and baseline data collection.
Once completed, the Palouse Prairie Restoration Project will be an outstanding example of how to promote science, sustainability, outdoor recreation, exploration, and community engagement, while restoring landscapes to their native state.
We have so many excellent initiatives underway at EWU. It will be another exciting year. Go Eags!
Mary Cullinan, President
Eastern Washington University