WSU considers a Federal Way extension campus

From staff reports

For many years, the town of Federal Way, Washington, has been conducting several talks with multiple universities regarding a four year school within the south King County area. 

After much back-and-forth discussion with administrators including Elson S. Floyd and Daniel J. Bernardo, Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell foresees a legitimate possibility of incorporating a Washington State University satellite campus within the downtown area.

“This old Husky is learning from the Coug play book,” Ferrell said, a University of Washington alumnus.

With Federal Way’s current residency being over 92,000, Ferrell said that the city is on track to be the state’s ninth largest city, and this satellite campus is an important step in trying to meet the demands of such a large city.

Among the significant changes being made to Federal Way’s downtown area, plans for a Performing Arts and Events Center have been settled, Ferrell said, estimating the center at 32.7 million dollars. The 700 seat facility is expected to be completed by summer of 2017.

“This will be the new cornerstone of Federal Way,” Ferrell said.

In addition, a town square park is being implemented into the city’s downtown center in the summer of 2016 said Ferrell, Federal Way never having a designated place to congregate as a community up until this point. Between these three projects, Ferrell said that together they may give the downtown area a sense of synergy.

While the PAEC and town square park have already been approved, Ferrell said that a needs assessment is currently being conducted by MGT America to see if a college campus would actually be beneficial to Federal Way in the long run.

“We need to make sure that a needs assessment is completed,” Ferrell said. “Ultimately, this is a business decision.”

Ferrell believes that the implementation of a WSU campus would be among the biggest decisions of the city’s history.

“From the 92,000 people who live in Federal Way: We would love to see a WSU campus in our beautiful city,” he said.

Reporting by Darold Lee Bivens