Comment on WSU’s Everett building by Monday

EVERETT — The proposed University Center building will be a landmark in the north Everett neighborhood when it gets built.

Plans call for a four-story, 95,000-square-foot building in what is now the parking lot of the College Plaza shopping center on North Broadway.

The city of Everett has issued an environmental review of the project and is soliciting public comment. The deadline is the end of day Monday.

Washington State University North Puget Sound will call the new University Center building home and will manage the coalition of distant schools offering classes here.

To offset the loss of parking at the site, a new 193-space parking lot is to be built on what is now the site of a 33-unit mobile home park just to the north.

Residents of the park, where 23 recreational vehicles or mobile homes are parked, have already received eviction notices.

“They said we’ve got until May of next year to move out,” said resident John Sass, who has been living in his camper there for more than a year.

Sass and other residents who spoke to The Daily Herald were not overly concerned given the long advance notice.

“I don’t have any problem with it,” said resident Charles Elson, who said he knew about the possibility of a land sale when he moved into the park last May.

“I would like to have stayed, but I understand them,” Elson said.

“It’s a year’s advance notice, that was part of the consideration we had with the seller,” Bob Drewel, the chancellor for WSU North Puget Sound said.

“It will indeed give folks ample time to relocate,” he said.

As the lead school at University Center, WSU is charged with expanding undergraduate programs in the region.

Everett Community College, which owns the land, also will offer classes there, as will the University of Washington, Western Washington University and Central Washington University.

University Center would open with 12 classrooms and 10 laboratories and have a small cafe and a public gathering place.

WSU plans to launch degree programs at the center that include software engineering, sustainable food systems, data analytics and aviation maintenance.

Money to build the facility is still tied up in budget negotiations in Olympia, with Gov. Jay Inslee proposing a $54.6 million allocation.

“We were hoping, of course, to break ground July 1,” Drewel said. “We’re ready to go.” The state’s fiscal year begins then.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.

Comment period ends Monday

Written comments about the proposed University Center can be submitted to the city of Everett’s Planning Department, 2930 Wetmore Ave., Suite 8-A, Everett, WA 98201. The deadline is the end of the day Monday.

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