Tulalips bow out of competition for UW campus

TULALIP – A University of Washington branch campus will not be built on the Tulalip Indian Reservation.

Tribal leaders don’t want it.

They want to focus on planning for the future building of up to 450 homes on reservation land.

“Until we get through this process, we didn’t want to commit to the University of Washington branch campus process,” said Rep. John McCoy, D-Tulalip, who earlier this month asked the tribal council to decide if it would pursue the college.

“We decided that having a campus near the reservation would be just as good as having it on the reservation,” he said.

The search is under way to find a permanent site for the college, which could start offering classes for upper-division students as early as fall 2008. Those classes would occur in a temporary location.

The state Office of Financial Management hired consultant NBBJ Architects of Seattle to spearhead the site selection process. NBBJ will make recommendations Nov. 15.

Earlier this month, the firm began soliciting proposals from those interested in seeing a four-year university on their land.

By Friday NBBJ hopes to have in hand detailed information from property owners, including cities and counties, on how their land could accommodate a college.

Separate proposals are expected from the cities of Everett, Stanwood and a coalition led by Snohomish and Lake Stevens. Snohomish County will provide information on several properties, too.

At one time, the Tulalip Tribes expressed interest in seeing a campus rise on some of the hundreds of acres west of Quil Ceda Village near I-5.

Not now.

McCoy said the tribe “will not be submitting a package” so it can keep all available parcels in consideration for housing, which is a greater priority.

That doesn’t mean the tribe isn’t interested in the final selection.

“We’ll participate in the process,” he said.

He and tribal leaders prefer that the selected site be north of the reservation, in Marysville, Arlington or Stanwood, or near the border of Snohomish and Skagit counties.

Still in the running

Several communities in Snohomish County have expressed interest in attracting a University of Washington branch campus.

Everett has hired lobbyists. Stanwood leaders are pushing for the university to open in their city. And Lake Stevens and Snohomish have proposed that the campus open between their communities, east of I-5.

NBBJ Architects of Seattle has asked property owners to submit their land as potential sites for the branch campus.

Friday is the deadline for the consultant to receive proposals. People interested in selling land for a new branch campus can contact Martin Regge, NBBJ principal, at 206-223-5105 or mregge@nbbj.com.

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