EVERETT — Stay west or head east.
It’s a multimillion-dollar question Everett Community College must answer as it tries to determine where to eventually build its new Learning Resource Center, which includes its library and learning support programs.
The college administration has proposed a building east of Broadway. It is part of a master plan proposal.
Some faculty, staff and students say it should remain on the main campus.
“It really comes down to student access,” said Mike VanQuickenborne, an EvCC philosophy instructor and union president for the faculty. “We feel it should be as easily accessible as possible to our students.”
EvCC President David Beyer on Thursday sent a message to college staff. In it, he talked about enrollment growth on the campus and long-term plans.
College growth has put pressure on Everett’s Northwest neighborhood over the years, which is part of the reason for the eastward movement.
“We continue to explore property acquisition as does WSU to the east and the north,” he wrote. “The congestion on the west side of Broadway into this campus has intensified and will only worsen with regional and college population growth in the next 20 years.”
Beyer said moving the Learning Resource Center east of Broadway won’t resolve congestion issues by itself, “but it will be an intentional and important step in (dispersing) pedestrian and vehicular traffic to the north and east.”
VanQuickenborne and Beyer agree on one thing: the issue has sparked energized conversation.
It is on the college Board of Trustees’ agenda for Tuesday in the Jackson Wilderness Room on campus. The meeting starts at 5 p.m., but the agenda item is not expected to be raised until 6.
In his letter, Beyer said the board is not expected to make a decision during the meeting other than to defer the issue until a meeting next fall.
Board members have indicated an interest in further discussion with people from on and off the campus over the summer and early fall, he wrote.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; firstname.lastname@example.org.