Everett and Marysville wrangle for UW campus

OLYMPIA — A new day and new venue didn’t change the arguments on whether a proposed University of Washington campus should be built in Everett or Marysville.

Thirty-five people testified Monday to the House Higher Education Committee on bills to plant the UW flag near the Everett Station or on the edge of Marysville in Smokey Point.

Many of them reprised their roles and repeated their comments from a hearing two weeks ago in front of a Senate panel.

A state-hired consultant ranked Everett and Marysville sites as the top two locations for a college with a potential population of 5,000 students in 20 years.

That analysis by NBBJ of Seattle scored 31 acres around Everett Station slightly higher than 369 privately owned acres in the Smokey Point area in Marysville. The consultant made clear both properties could handle the ­anticipated demands.

The Legislature is now considering the turf question and trying to decide if it wants to commit the state to building a new four-year college — with an estimated $800 million price tag at full build-out.

Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson and Snohomish County Councilman Brian Sullivan urged legislators to act this session, saying this is the last, best hope to get a college. They urged passage of House Bill 2548 to establish the campus in Everett.

Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, the bill’s sponsor, told the committee that in choosing a site they should consider what “entices” students to a college.

He said they want to know “where is the nearest Thai restaurant and where can I go to have a beer after school” when they make their selection. Everett offers proximity to eateries, jobs and transportation, he said.

Those pushing for the Marysville property backed House Bill 2814 to set strict criteria for legislators to follow if and when a vote on a site is taken. It does not specify the Marysville property but is written in a way that it would wind up the likely selection.

Rep. Dave Quall, D-Mount Vernon, the bill’s author, said the 369 acres situated farther north is a better fit for potential students coming from north Snohomish County and Island and Skagit counties.

And he said he traveled to the Everett site and realized the UW’s Bothell campus would be “an arms-length away, and to build another branch campus in the area gave me claustrophobia.”

Several Marysville site supporters criticized the NBBJ report and questioned the validity of the process, as they did in the Senate hearing two weeks ago.

Since the report came out in November, it’s been determined Everett’s site is 4 acres smaller and the property is actually two parcels rather than one; NBBJ required proposals be contiguous developable land to be considered.

“We’re not trying to nitpick,” said land owner Bill Binford. “The rules were set. We followed the rules. Like it or not, Everett did not qualify.”

The committee did not take action on the bills Monday.

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

The legislation

HB 2548: Authorizing a branch campus of the University of Washington at Everett.

HB 2814: Providing criteria for the siting of an institution of higher education in the north Puget Sound region.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Cars move across Edgewater Bridge toward Everett on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edgewater Bridge redo linking Everett, Mukilteo delayed until mid-2024

The project, now with an estimated cost of $27 million, will detour West Mukilteo Boulevard foot and car traffic for a year.

Lynn Deeken, the Dean of Arts, Learning Resources & Pathways at EvCC, addresses a large gathering during the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Cascade Learning Center on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New EvCC learning resource center opens to students, public

Planners of the Everett Community College building hope it will encourage students to use on-campus tutoring resources.

Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman announces his retirement after 31 years of service at the Everett City Council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett police chief to retire at the end of October

Chief Dan Templeman announced his retirement at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. He has been chief for nine years.

Boeing employees watch the KC-46 Pegasus delivery event  from the air stairs at Boeing on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Boeing’s iconic Everett factory tour to resume in October

After a three-year hiatus, tours of the Boeing Company’s enormous jet assembly plant are back at Paine Field.

A memorial for a 15-year-old shot and killed last week is set up at a bus stop along Harrison Road on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Teen boy identified in fatal shooting at Everett bus stop

Bryan Tamayo-Franco, 15, was shot at a Hardeson Road bus stop earlier this month. Police arrested two suspects.

Car crashes into Everett apartment, displacing residents

No one was injured in the crash late Friday, according to Everett police.

Mike Bredstrand, who is trying to get back his job with Lake Stevens Public Works, stands in front of the department’s building on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Bredstrand believes his firing in July was an unwarranted act of revenge by the city. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens worker was fired after getting court order against boss

The city has reportedly spent nearly $60,000 on attorney and arbitration fees related to Mike Bredstrand, who wants his job back.

Chap Grubb, founder and CEO of second-hand outdoor gear store Rerouted, stands inside his new storefront on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Gold Bar, Washington. Rerouted began as an entirely online shop that connected buyers and sellers of used gear.  (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Used outdoor gear shop Rerouted finds a niche in Gold Bar

Seeking to keep good outdoor gear out of landfills, an online reselling business has put down roots in Gold Bar.

Naval Station Everett. (Chuck Taylor / Herald file)
Everett man sentenced to 6 years for cyberstalking ex-wife

Christopher Crawford, 42, was found guilty of sending intimate photos of his ex-wife to adult websites and to colleagues in the Navy.

Most Read