On January 20, 2016, the University of Washington (UW) released the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the planned Computer Science and Engineering Building II (CSE II). As expected, the “preferred alternative” stated by the UW did not change; the UW would prefer to tear down the National Register-listed Nuclear Reactor Building (More Hall Annex) to make way for CSE II.
The proposed actions and alternatives are the same as presented in the Draft EIS and are as follows:
Alternative 1 – Preferred Alternative: Development of CSE II Project on Site 16C - This alternative would include the removal of the existing Nuclear Reactor Building (More Hall Annex), which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Alternative 2 – Development of the CSE II Project on Site 16C and Retention of the More Hall Annex - Two design approaches are presented in this alternative in order to retain “all or a portion of More Hall Annex,” that do not sufficiently respect the historic character of the Nuclear Reactor Building or meet the Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation.
Alternative 3 – Development of the CSE II Project on Site 14C - This scenario involves relocating some existing uses and associated staff currently using Site 14C requiring the development or acquisition of new office space. Two design approaches are also presented in this scenario.
Alternative 4 – No Action Alternative
The Final SEIS addresses 41 public comment letters that were submitted concerning the Draft SEIS, and we know of at least one which the UW neglected to include. Of the 42 total letters submitted, 38 of them addressed the Nuclear Reactor Building, three letters addressed transit, and one addressed historic views (and noted the historic character of the Nuclear Reactor Building). Of the 38 letters that addressed the Nuclear Reactor Building, 37 of them supported its preservation.
The general response of the UW seemed to be that comments in support of the Nuclear Reactor Building were “noted” and that “full incorporation of More Hall Annex into the CSE II Building would not feasibly meet the project objectives.”
Thank you to all who submitted letters, and if you would like to see the UW’s specific responses, you can download a copy of the Final SEIS here. (Comment letters and responses are included in Chapter 4 of the document, which begins on page 110.)