EVERETT — Crews started tearing down a strip mall Monday on property that will soon expand Everett Community College’s footprint across Broadway.
The 10th and Broadway project will total 65,000 square feet. It will expand the college’s tutoring resources, as well as house the library, writing center and other academic support programs. According to the college, the current library isn’t big enough for the growing student population.
“We’re a community college and we know the community deserves to have access to resources,” said Bob Bolerjack, vice chair of the college’s Board of Trustees, at a groundbreaking for the development earlier this month.
The $52 million Cascade Learning Resource Center will sit on the 17-acre former College Plaza shopping center. Businesses in the strip mall included a nail salon, an innovation lab and a popular auto licensing shop. People had still been coming to the vacant building looking for Julie’s Licensing Service, worksite superintendent Anthony Pittman said.
In all, it will house the John N. Terrey Library/Media Center, Tutoring Center, Writing Center, eLearning, Instructional Media Services, the Russell Day Gallery and the Center for Transformative Teaching. This will replace the college’s current Library Media Center. That building went up after an arson destroyed the college’s old library in 1987.
State Rep. Emily Wicks, D-Everett, said the project isn’t just about concrete and steel.
“Today is about opportunity and hope,” she said at the groundbreaking. “Opportunity for students who want a better education, a better career and a better life for their family. And hope for our local businesses who desperately need skilled workers.”
Next door is Washington State University’s main Everett campus building. Between the two buildings will be a new quad.
EvCC’s Board of Trustees approved the eastward leap across Broadway in 2018 amid resistance from faculty and students arguing the center would be out of the way in the new location. Some also argued the move across the five-lane thoroughfare posed safety concerns.
This won’t be the only expansion east of Broadway for the college. A new Baker Hall is planned for east of the new learning center.
The development’s general contractor, Mortenson, also built EvCC’s Gray Wolf and Whitehorse halls, as well as Seattle University’s Lemieux Library expansion and the Odegaard Undergraduate Learning Center renovation at the University of Washington. The contractor also worked on Providence Regional Medical Center Everett and Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle.
The center is set to open in April 2023.
“See you in 18 months for a ribbon cutting,” said John Olson, the college’s executive director of government and community relations.
Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; email@example.com. Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.