WSU seeks funding for 4-story campus in Everett

EVERETT – Regents of Washington State University know where they want to construct the future home of the University Center of North Puget Sound.

Now they need to convince state legislators to provide money for WSU to build it.

The Board of Regents last week approved the schematic design for the multi-story structure planned at the corner of North Broadway and Tower Street, across the street from Everett Community College.

Regents, in their meeting in Vancouver, endorsed the designs positioning the four-story, 95,000-square-foot building in the north corner of the parking lot of the College Plaza shopping center.

If funding is secured this legislative session, work could begin as early as July and be finished in mid-2017, according to Bob Drewel, interim chancellor for the WSU-managed University Center.

WSU is seeking $61 million for the project in the capital construction budget this year. Gov. Jay Inslee included $54.6 million in his proposed spending plan, which would be enough to get started, though the university is hoping to land its full request.

As proposed, the center would open with 12 classrooms and 10 laboratories. It will have space for a small café and an area set aside for public gatherings.

Conversations for the new University Center building began in 2012. WSU received $10 million in state funding in 2013 to design the facility and acquire adjacent property for future development.

When the building opens, the Cougar flag will be flying outside along with those of the partner universities including the University of Washington, Western Washington University and Central Washington University.

Washington State also is asking for $4.5 million to launch additional degree programs at the center, including software engineering, sustainable food systems, data analytics and aviation maintenance.

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

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