CAB Renovation Completed

College Activities Building

Thanks to the vision, involvement and financial support of Evergreen’s student body, the renovation of the College Activities Building is now complete.

Begun in 2009, the $21 million project incorporated a host of improvements and new features in the 38-year-old building. Collaboratively developed as an updated, expanded and more inviting space for the community, the renovation was designed to revitalize the existing CAB into an energy-efficient green building, with numerous innovations geared towards achieving gold certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program of the U.S. Green Building Council (which is pending). These include solar hot water, composting toilets, native landscaping, rainwater harvesting, natural ventilation and on-site wastewater treatment.

Exterior of Renovated CAB Sweeping interior renovations added a new central staircase in the lobby and more space to the bookstore, conference services, KAOS radio station, student organization offices, the student newspaper and the bike shop. Campus dining facilities were expanded and upgraded and new areas for studying, holding meetings and socializing were added, as was the student-run Flaming Eggplant Café, formerly located in a small trailer on Red Square. The project added about 15,000 square feet to the 85,000-square-foot building. Pedestrian flow was improved to better connect the residential east campus to the academic west campus.

Materials were chosen for their durability and sustainability and include flooring, carpeting and countertops made from recycled content. Exterior modifications included colored tile and wood treatments covering the old concrete façade. The wood used in the project is Forest Stewardship Council certified to have come from responsibly managed forests. Nearly all construction debris was recycled.

This project was made possible by Evergreen students, who voted to launch the renovation, agreed to pay special student fees to fund about 75 percent of its cost, and participated in the design process with a majority vote within the college’s design committee. The DLR Group, the Seattle-based architecture firm that handled the renovation, said in a presentation about the project, "While public projects (particularly schools) entail a substantial amount of public interest and scrutiny, our team had never encountered this level of passion, commitment and long term thinking amongst a student community."

The CAB was built in 1972 and expanded to include a third floor in 1992. Ninety-five percent of the original structure was preserved in the renovation; the state contributed $4.9 million to address the existing facility’s preservation needs.

The new, improved CAB was reopened and dedicated in time to kick off the 2010-11 academic year. It better reflects Evergreen’s green culture and is a giant step toward achieving Evergreen’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2020.