WSU to renovate building on its campus for new medical school home
The Phase One building was the first to open on the downtown Riverpoint campus.
It's now getting a facelift.
For the last 10 years or so, Phase One was occupied by Eastern Washington University, its major home on the campus it shared with Washington State University. But with its Catalyst Building opening recently on Sprague Avenue, Eastern vacated Phase One. Now the building will become the main home of WSU’s medical school.
“Since we’ve created the College of Medicine, we didn’t have exact space for them. They fit into the campus. So this allows us to really define a special space for them," said Eric Smith, the director of facilities and capital projects for WSU Spokane.
Phase One will provide office and student space for the medical school, and a student testing center for the other academic programs on campus.
WSU has been planning another large building on the campus to accommodate the growth in its health sciences programs. That would have been a big money project requiring a huge outlay from the state. This renovation relieves the need for that.
“Rather than build a new building, it was more efficient to look at what we had on campus, make use of this space, so rather than duplicating offices or some other areas, the choice was made, let’s maximize the use of this building first," Smith said.
Smith says this project will cost about $15 million, money allocated by the state. Demolition and construction work will soon begin. Smith says the goal for reopening the building will be next summer, assuming there are no delays.