Spokane's Catalyst Building Reaches New Milestone

Oct 21, 2019

A crane lowers a ceremonial tree during a "topping out" ceremony for the "zero carbon" Catalyst Building, just east of downtown Spokane.
Credit Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The partners involved in creating a new "zero carbon" building just east of downtown Spokane celebrated a milestone today [Monday].

The “topping out” ceremony at the Catalyst Building marked the laying of its last structural piece.

The Catalyst Building is a product of a partnership between Avista, the engineering firm McKinstry and Katerra, the firm that recently opened a factory that makes cross-laminated timber beams in Spokane Valley.

Cross-laminated timber beams built by Katerra sit on a trailer, ready to be added to the Catalyst Building in east Spokane.
Credit Doug Nadvornick/SPR

“These panels that you see out there are the first panels to come out of our new CLT factory in Spokane Valley," said Craig Curtis, Katerra's chief architect. "This factory is the largest investment that Katerra has made to date and I’m proud to see our first panels right here in Spokane.”

The new building is located at the south landing of the new Gateway Bridge in the University District. It will house four Eastern Washington University programs: computer science, electrical and computer engineering and visual communication design.

“We’re going to have hundreds of students here, along with faculty and staff," said EWU President Mary Cullinan. "At any given time, there will be classes going on and we’re going to be working to break the frontiers of technology and work with our community and industry partners.”

The building is schedule to open for classes next fall.