WSU regents OK plans for building near EvCC

Washington State University regents gave an enthusiastic thumbs up Friday to a plan to build a multi-story building across from Everett Community College that will cement the research university’s presence in the city.

The Board of Regents voted unanimously to authorize use of $10 million in state funds to design the 95,000-square foot structure to be built in the parking lot of the EvCC-owned College Plaza shopping center.

The facility, which will have offices and classrooms, would rise near the corner of North Broadway and Tower Street and could be ready by 2017.

The regents also approved using some of the state money to acquire nearby parcels for conversion into parking lots, in order to provide spaces displaced by the building.

“There’s a long way to go, mind you, but this is a very good start,” said WSU Regent Connie Niva of Everett prior to the vote.

Mayor Ray Stephanson echoed the sentiment.

“This is a very positive step. I am very pleased to see the advancement of higher education by Washington State University in our community,” he said.

WSU secured the state funds earlier this year after months of discussion involving leaders of the university, community college and city.

The site is envisioned as the future home for the University Center of North Puget Sound, a consortium of four-year colleges which today offer classes to hundreds of students both online and in classrooms on the community college campus.

Everett Community College manages the center now, but will hand over control to WSU next year. Enrollment is growing and the center is expected to run out of space for students by the end of the decade.

WSU is driving the increase in enrollment. It brought its first undergraduate program to the center in 2012 and is looking to add programs in 2014 and 2015.

Its takeover of the center, coupled with the increase in academic programs, fuels talk that this building will become an anchor for a branch campus.

“That remains to be seen,” Niva said. “In my mind there’s no desire to crowd out the community college. We don’t ever want to be seen diminishing its importance.”

University officials sidestep the issue, but they’ve taken to referring to this project as “WSU North Puget Sound of Everett.”

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com

More in Local News

These little piggies stay home

Norman, who was spotted last week in Everett, is part of a trio kept as pets by the “pig whisperer.”

Cheering families welcome Kidd, Shoup after 6 months at sea

“I get back Daddy back today,” said one homemade sign at Naval Station Everett.

Stanwood man, 33, killed in crash near Marysville

Speed may have been a factor, the sheriff’s department said.

Street-legal ATVs approved for some roads near Sultan

Supporters foresee tourism benefits. Opponents are concerned about injury and pollution risks.

Jamie Copeland is a senior at Cedar Park Christian Schools’ Mountlake Terrace campus. She is a basketball player, ASB president, cheerleader and, of course, a Lion. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Cedar Park Christian senior stepping up to new challenges

Jamie Copeland’s academics include STEM studies, leadership, ASB activities, honor society.

Woman, 47, found dead in Marysville jail cell

She’d been in custody about four days after being arrested on warrants, police said.

County plans to sue to recoup costs from ballot drop-box law

A quarter-million dollars could be spent adding 19 ballot boxes in rural areas.

Merger would make Providence part of health-care behemoth

Providence St. Joseph Health and Ascension Health are said to be talking. Swedish would also be affected.

5 teens in custody in drug-robbery shooting death

They range in age from 15 to 17. One allegedly fatally shot a 54-year-old mother, whose son was wounded.

Most Read