Washington Breaks Ground on New Crewhouse

Dec. 18, 2003

Seattle - The Washington athletic department held the groundbreaking ceremonies for the renovation of the Conibear Shellhouse today. The current facility will be closed until April of 2005 as it undergoes a $18 million renovation.

The Conibear Shellhouse is the home for Washington's crew program, academic center and training table. The timetable for the construction project is a 14-month period from January of 2004 to April of 2005.

'In addition to remaining the home of Washington's world-class crew program, this will be the center of academic life for student-athletes and boast a dining facility unrivaled by any other on campus,' said Husky athletic director Barbara Hedges. 'When completed, it will be the 'Crown Jewel' of the athletic facilities at the University of Washington, and it will be the one building that every one of the approximately 700 student-athletes will visit nearly every single day.

The Conibear Shellhouse was built in 1949 for a cost of $365,000. It was named in honor of former Husky rowing coach Hiram Conibear. In addition to serving as the home for the Washington crew program, it was also used as an athletic dormitory. Legendary boatmaker George Pocock once had a workshop in the facility where he built his world famous racing shells.

Conibear Shellhouse RenovationProject Summary

Total Cost: $18 million

Construction Schedule: January, 2004 - April 2005

Square Footage Comparisons:

                       Current       New  % ChangeCrew                    11,120    19,780     +78%Dining                   3,920     6,710     +71%Academic Services        4,620     9,500     +106%Total Square Footage    27,000    47,250     +75%

Architects: Miller-Hull Architects, Seattle, Washington

General Contractor: Sellen Construction, Seattle, Washington

Renovation Highlights


* A grand, four-section ergometer training and team room, directly adjacent to locker rooms, shell storage bays and docks.

* New men's and women's full-service locker rooms, directly adjacent to the ergometer/team rooms.

* An additional rowing shell storage bay, adding storage and repair space.

* Modern coaches offices overlooking Lake Washington.

* A new Captain's Room, centrally located with views into the shell storage bays.

* New glass roll-up doors at shell bays and ergometer/team rooms, allowing open and connected views to Lake Washington during training.

Student-Athlete Academic Services

* Expanded facilities for counseling, tutoring and studying areas.

* New offices for staff and counselors.

* Expanded, modern computer laboratory.

* Group and individual study spaces with computer capabilities.

* Tiered floor auditorium with teaching space for 40 students.

* High ceilings with an open-area architectural approach in the upper wing, creating a pleasant atmosphere for studying.


* Expanded food service with the ability to accommodate 200-plus student-athletes at one time.

* Large, 18-foot floor-to-ceiling windows with water views in the dining hall.

* A 2,500 square-foot deck available for dining, overlooking Lake Washington.

* New self-serve approach to food service with modern servery and equipment.

* Full-service kitchen with wide-ranging food menu preparation capabilities.

* Multi-functional use of dining facility, including academic support.

* 1936 Olympic Rowing Shell to be displayed prominently.

* Complete sound system with provisions for multi-media support.

* Wireless internet capabilities included.

Student-Athlete Lounge

* Open concept off main lobby with direct views to Lake Washington.

* Direct access to external, waterfront deck.

* Large-screened television.

* Comfortable lounge furniture compatible with a study environment.

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