Dorms, new buildings shape college campuses
By Stacey Denny
Columbia Basin College’s new student housing opened in September, and Washington State University Tri-Cities officials expect to open the doors to their new housing complex next year.
It’s a sign the Tri-City colleges are becoming destination campuses.
Site and weather-related delays pushed back WSU Tri-Cities’ plans for its new 800-bed dormitories, but the complex remains high on the list of priorities because new students want housing close to campus, said Jeffrey Dennison, WSU Tri-Cities spokesman.
WSU Tri-Cities officials are still working on the financial and construction details with the developer and anticipate opening sometime in 2018, Dennison said.
“We have a far greater reach now in regards to new students. We are seeing students coming here from Hawaii, New York, Florida and many other states. This influx of students from out of the area creates a far greater need for housing,” he said.
Each unit will have its own kitchen, and the complex will include a clubhouse, outdoor pool, basketball court and recreational facilities.
“Typically, residence halls are staffed and managed by the university itself. In this case, we are leasing land to a management company that is building the buildings in phases, and staffing and managing them too,” Dennison said.
The complex will be owned, operated and maintained by Corporate Pointe Developers. The first of seven phases includes 165 beds. Tentatively called The Vineyard on Campus, the project will cost between $8 and $9 million per each of the seven phases.
Enrollment continues to grow at the Richland campus with 1,937 undergraduate students, or a 5.1 percent increase over last year.
Overall enrollment increased by 3.7 percent and the growth this fall contributes to a 49 percent increase in enrollment since 2013 for the Richland campus.
The college also celebrated the completion of its new Student Union Building — called the SUB — in September.
The $5.73 million building will be used for student leisure, study, meetings and events.
WSU Tri-Cities students voted in 2014 to assess a fee upon themselves to pay for the facility. There are about 2,000 students enrolled at the branch campus.
The 9,951-square-foot building features a 2,437-square-foot multipurpose event space, new furniture, a gathering space, coffee bar and interactive TV monitors.
Pasco’s Columbia Basin College completed multiple construction projects this year, including its new student housing, Sunhawk Hall at 2901 N. 20th in Pasco, across the street from the CBC campus.
The $7 million residence hall has a 126-bed capacity.
The 26,800-square-foot facility has 44 furnished apartment units and 126 beds for single, double, triple and quadruple occupancy, each with private bathrooms, a kitchen and dining space.
Sizes range from 240 square feet to 550 square feet.
“We really want this residence hall to be a place for students to meet one another, but also make sure that a student can hit the ground running academically from the moment they set foot in their room,” said Daniel Quock, CBC’s director for resident life.
The rent, which includes utilities, for a single occupancy unit is $950 per person. Double occupancy rooms cost $700 per person; triple occupancy rooms, $635 to $676 a person; and suites for four people, $535 a person.
CBC’s new $17.7 million Rand Wortman Medical Science Center, at 940 Northgate Drive, across the street from the Richland Public Library near Kadlec Regional Medical Center, was finished in August 2017 and is used to train health care professionals. Kadlec donated $3 million toward the project.
The four-story, 72,600-square-foot building will be used by students in the college’s nursing, paramedic, EMT, medical assistant and fire science programs. There will also be a medical clinic that will treat patients, 32 exam rooms and an X-ray suite.