WSU to complete several construction projects this year

Campus construction continues after a busy summer saw progress on several projects. All told roughly $227 million in active construction projects falls in the university’s budget, according to WSU Facilities Services.

The Digital Classroom Building is one of the most expensive projects at $55 million and is set to open in fall of 2017.

The four-story, 83,295 square foot building is only a steel structure next to the Health & Wellness Center now. But soon it will house staff and students, large scale 3D printers, a cafe and a student skills development studio among the many digital classrooms.

“This building is going to meet or exceed expectations as far as digital learning in the classroom goes, as well a great space to hangout and work together,” Project Manager Louise Sweeney said. “It’s a breath of fresh air into the classroom.”

On the south edge of campus, the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center is nearing the midway point of construction. The 16,000 square foot, $16 million facility will house the diversity education program and is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2017.

The Chinook Student Center, a renovation of the ‘Old Bookie’ on the north side of campus near Kimbrough Music Hall, was gutted in early spring and will have similar amenities to the CUB. That project settles at $32 million with an expected completion date in January.

Troy Hall renovations continue as the nearly 100-year-old building is completely gutted. The reconstruction will make way for new classrooms and research space after the building was shut down in 2010. The $32.3 million project is scheduled for completion in February.

The WSU Police Department is in transition to a new station, moving away from its location across from the CUB. The $7.5 million project is scheduled to finish this month.

“We came in on schedule, on budget,” Project Manager Kelly Keane said. “Zero safety incidents.”

The new facility will allow for officers to have quicker access points, rather than responding from the previous pedestrian-heavy area. The new building on Grimes Way will offer two four-hour holding cells, a feature the station on Terrell Mall, built in the mid-1960s, was unable to fulfill.

Projects across the WSU system, in Everett, Spokane and the Tri-Cities, are either in design or wrapping up construction. Major capital projects in design or planning at WSU will require approval from the Board of Regents in the coming months.