EWU students cite safety issues to push for new science building




Posted on May 22, 2014 at 8:02 AM

Updated Thursday, May 22 at 10:48 AM

SPOKANE, Wash. – A student group at Eastern Washington University is building support for a new science building, something school administrators have already asked the legislature to support.
Students formed the “EWU Science Alliance,” saying there are safety issues with certain chemical spill showers and eye washout stations that don’t work. EWU physics major Timbre Wolf said, between outdated equipment and water damage, a new building is long overdue.

“We can’t do the research that we want because the building is not up-to-par, our equipment is not up-to-par,” Wolf said. “You can walk around the building, sometimes, and there’ll be trash cans out trying to catch the rain water dripping through. It doesn’t encourage you to be a science major here.”

The existing science building was built in 1962 and last renovated over 20 years ago. EWU media relations manager, David Meany, said the administration has been aware of the poor condition of the building for quite some time and the need to replace it. In fact, a new science building has been on EWU’s master plan for the last four or five years.
"The University Science Center is one of Eastern's highest priorities on our capital project list, and we can only move ahead with funding from the state,” Meany said. “That is why it will again be one of our top capital budget requests when the next Legislative session convenes in January, 2015."
The student advocates with the EWU Science Alliance, like EWU senior Samuel Adams, said, even tough the school’s leaders are working on a new building, it’s important for the students to also speak up about it.
“You know, it’s not just administration wanting a fancy, new building,” Adams said. “Students have been disgruntled for a long time about the poor quality of the building and we would really like our voice heard in this matter.”
“With growing interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) degrees, EWU hopes to have facilities to meet the needs of students,” Meany said.
The EWU Science Alliance as invited the campus community to a meeting at room 137 inside the very science building they say needs replacing on Thursday at 5 p.m.