Washington State University Tri-Cities had an official groundbreaking on its new student union building in early May.
The Washington State University Board of Regents unanimously approved the schematic design for the $5.7 million, 6,250-sq.-ft. building in March. The new building will be adjacent to the Consolidated Information Center at WSU Tri-Cities.
Construction will begin this summer and the building, which will include study, leisure and meeting spaces for students, is expected to be complete by the time the fall semester begins in 2017. The general contractor for the construction project is Leone and Keeble Inc. of Spokane.
“We are excited to be moving forward and starting construction on our first student union building,” said Vanessa Alvarez Sanchez, the 2015-2016 president of the Associated Students of WSU Tri-Cities. “It is a design that meets the needs of student life on campus.”
In 2013, WSU completed a feasibility study that outlined the need for a student union building. In the spring of 2014, ASWSU Tri-Cities voted to approve a fee per student per academic semester of $100 to fund the new student union. In February 2015, an additional $50 per academic semester was added.
The fee generates approximately $390,000 per year to fund the project and provide for maintenance and operating expenses.
“The approval of the design for the building is a true testament to the dedication and hard work of the students at WSU Tri-Cities,” said Chris Meiers, vice chancellor of enrollment management and student services. “We look forward to having a space designed and dedicated specifically to the student experience — the first of its kind on the WSU Tri-Cities campus.
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