PUB Redesign

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VOTE on February 24, 2014

The Associated Student of Eastern Washington University will be holding a special election on February 24th, 2014. 

Imagine a new PUB that reflects the spirit of collaboration, interaction and opportunity that defines the student union.


Eastern Washington University has hired Perkins+Will (P+W) to provide architectural/engineering pre-design services for the renovation and upgrade of the Pence Union Building (PUB). The goal of the pre-design is to establish a facility that will house programs which meets the expectations of EWU students as they relate to today’s modern student union building. P+W have the expertise to engage stakeholders and assist EWU in establishing the best balance of infrastructure and aesthetic improvements with appropriate building program elements.


  • Improve dining options
  • Significantly increase student lounge and "hangout" spaces, especially for commuter students
  • Develop additional collaborative workspace for student clubs and organizations
  • Improve Multi-Purpose Room (MPR) and student event spaces
  • Create a campus information desk
  • Improve bus access and waiting area
  • Update building design to be open and light-filled
  • Address safety concerns
  • Make building more environmentally friendly and sustainable


Foster a vibrant and welcoming campus culture through an exceptional Student Union facility and associated programs, drawing on national best practices and focused on student development and success.


The Pence Union Building (PUB) was built in 1970. It was based on the architectural trends and prevailing union models of the time, with cast concrete and brick walls, small windows, and discrete, private areas to accommodate small groups of students. Food service was unavailable initially, with residential students eating in Tawanka. In 1995, an addition to the union nearly doubled the size adding more open space and making possible the addition of dining, as well as computer labs and more meeting space. The two phases were joined and the entrance reconfigured. However, no significant renovations were made to the original facility.

While the current PUB has the appropriate square footage to accommodate the EWU student population (based on national standards*), it has a number of design deficiencies that limit student use and enjoyment, and more than $10 million of repair issues (roof and mechanicals) that put the integrity of the facility at risk. Furthermore, the PUB is situated at the crossroads of significant pedestrian and vehicular traffic, with students traversing a busy parking lot, main street, and bus station in order to gain access to the academic core of campus and the union. This renovation seeks to address all these issues.

(*10 square feet per student.  At just over 100,000 square feet, the present Union is sized appropriately for the Cheney campus population, which is approximately 9,800.)


  • Update design to be fresh and open
  • Improve interior traffic flow and reduced wasted space
  • Enhance safety
  • Increase storage for students and tenants
  • Enhance revenue generating operations
  • Address infrastructure deficiencies, such as mechanical systems, roof, skylights
  • Create space conducive to integrating social and academic environments (meeting rooms, dining options, social spaces, lounges)
  • Create central information hub for students
  • Allow for highlight of key departments (as identified in focus groups)
  • Unify disparate services in one location
  • Improve energy utilization and sustainability
  • Increase social and recreational offerings for students (as identified in focus groups)
  • Improve pedestrian/vehicular traffic pattern, parking and bus access (exterior)


  • $30 million
  • Financing support by student fee


  • June 2013-architect selection for pre-design
  • June 2013-February 2014 pre-design process and scoping size of project
  • March 2014-financial analysis completed to determine debt capacity and student fee necessary to fund project and operations
  • April-May 2014-student vote on fee (The students of EWU voted 546 (no) and 536 (yes))
  • Future time line to be determined 
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