Washington State Magazine

Summer 2006

Summer 2006

In This Issue...


The making of mountaineers :: Danielle Fisher gave herself five years to become the youngest person to climb the highest mountain on every continent. The Washington State University student did it in two, joining the ranks in 2005 of an elite fellowship of climbers who got their start on Washington's peaks. by Hannelore Sudermann

Eating well to save the Sound :: The Puget Sound region's 3.8 million population is expected to increase to 5.2 million within the next 15 years. If Puget Sound is to survive that growth, we must change our lives. That, and eat more shellfish. by Tim Steury

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Gallery: Light on the Water Photographer Kevin Nibur '05 trains his camera on the many moods of Hood Canal. }

No shrinking violet :: Researchers at WSU are finding that plants are surprisingly assertive. Based on their findings, a case could be made that the average potted plant is at least as active as the average human couch potato—and a lot smarter about what it consumes. by Cherie Winner


{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Video & Story: A New Kind of Chop Suey: China's Contemporary Urban Architecture Story and photos by David Wang, WSU Associate Professor of Architecture }



{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Story: Tracing the History of American Popular Culture by Hope Tinney }

Cover: Hood Canal, near Union. Read the story. Photograph by Kevin Nibur.

the cub


The CUB: Back to the future

© Washington State University

Work has begun on a two-year, $86-million project to remodel the Compton Union Building. The plan is to modernize the 1951 building, carving out 53,000 square feet for stores and restaurants, installing a new state-of-the-art auditorium, and introducing more light and style.

The price tag, 60 percent of which will be covered by a student assessment of $120 a semester, is the highest in Washington State University history. That's because at six stories and 235,000 square feet, the CUB is one of WSU's largest buildings, says Travis Duncan '05, the CUB project coordinator. The renovation involves gutting the entire building and the costly endeavor of refitting everything, including windows, wiring, plumbing, and mechanical elements, he says.

The structure, which now seems like a cave in some places and a maze in others, will be as big and as open as possible, says architect Stephanie Kingsnorth of Pfeiffer Partners, the Los Angeles-based firm that, along with Integrus Architecture of Spokane, is planning and running the renovation of the 55-year-old structure.

The plan is not to overwhelm the vintage building with a new architectural statement, but to update it, enhance the entries so the CUB is welcoming on all four sides, and make it more environmentally friendly, say the designers. "We're doing it right this time," says Duncan.

The bulk of the retail space will go to the Student Book Corporation (Bookie), which is in its second year of a 10-year management contract with Barnes and Noble College. The store is destined for the northwest corner of the building and will occupy two floors. The Bookie's rent, along with money from other new retail entities, will defray the costs of the building for the students, says Isaac Wells, president of the Associated Students of Washington State University.

The project is scheduled to start May 15, 2006 and should be ready for a grand opening before the start of fall semester in August 2008.

It will be a hardship to have the CUB closed for two years, say the planners, who spent spring semester relocating 35 student programs and organizations to other parts of campus. But in the end, WSU will have a student union that will last the next half-century, they say.

Categories: Architecture and design, Campus life | Tags: CUB

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