Transformed from the original WSU bookstore, the Chinook is an inclusive campus recreation
and social space where everyone is welcome.
SEATTLE, WA – The grand opening of the Washington State University’s Chinook Student Center is on Friday, September 22nd at 11:00 AM, and will include an open house and dedication ceremony. The new student center creates a welcoming space for students to focus on health, recreation, academics, and spiritual well-being. Funded by students, the student center is co-operated by University Recreation and CUB staff.
Beth Dwyer, the Design Principal of The Chinook at GGLO, said “The Chinook is a living and learning center that allows students to study, socialize and exercise among other activities. With the guidance of the students and WSU staff we have revitalized the ‘Old Bookie’ into a ‘social heart’ on the northern edge of campus.”
Originally built in 1954, “The Bookie,” was a social hub where generations of Cougsgathered with fellow students and was the location of the bookstore. In 2014, the idea of renovating the three-story Bookie Building to serve as a student-centric space generated the Chinook Planning Committee, consisting of student leaders and administrators.The group surveyed students to incorporate the kind of space and amenities students said they would like to see on campus.
Based on student feedback, a mixture of public, private, indoor, and outdoor spaces were utilized to create unique recreation and social spaces. Recreation areas include multi-purpose fitness rooms for hot yoga, wrestling, and Zumba; multiple cardio and weight rooms; saunas; meditation rooms; single-gender and all-gender locker rooms; and an outdoor workout space. The Living-Learning areas include spaces to study, socialize, and unwind between classes. Students can also enjoy lounges, charging stations, a napping zone, and grab-and-go food and coffee. Throughout the building, interior and exterior spaces are well integrated to allow for multiple experiences on the various levels.
Phillip Decker, a WSU Alum and the Project Landscape Designer at GGLO, said “The soul of this project is simple and clear – it’s about the students. The new Chinook is a home away from home. The college years are some of the most impactful moments of a student’s life, the Student Center promotes togetherness and fosters social gathering where fellow students will meet lifelong friends.”
The design-build team for the project included GGLO and Absher Construction Company.