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

Inslee’s budget solves school funding with help from carbon

His budget would use reserves to boost education, then replenish them with a carbon tax or fee.

Man, 29, injured by shots fired at Everett thrift store

The gunfire followed an argument in the parking lot of Value Village on Evergreen Way.

Police: He made an appointment, then tried to rob the bank

A lawyer is accused of donning a fake beard and telling a teller that a gunman was outside.

Lynnwood robbery leads to lockdown at Edmonds schools

Edmonds police said it was just a precaution as they search around Edmonds-Woodway High School.

Marysville 7-Eleven hit by armed robbers

Officers set up a perimeter and brought in a police dog, but the man couldn’t be found.

In adult court, four teens plead not guilty to murder

Prosecutors allege they worked together to plan and execute a drug robbery in Everett.

2 women struck, injured while crossing busy roads

The first happened Wednesday night in Everett. The second was Thursday morning in Edmonds.

Front Porch

SCHOOL’S OUT Local libraries have a lot happening to keep students occupied… Continue reading

One dead in crash south of Granite Falls

Two cars collided near the intersection of N. Lake Roesiger Road and Hidden Valley Road.

Most Read