Everett, Wash. – September 25, 2015 – Washington State University administrators, educational partners, community leaders and legislative champions broke ground on a new academic building at the Everett University Center on Tuesday, Sept. 22. The event signaled a new era in higher education for Snohomish, Skagit and Island counties.
“WSU’s engagement in Everett reflects our land-grant mission, bringing a practical education to the working class,” said WSU interim president Dan Bernardo. “Together, we’re going to significantly increase educational attainment in this region and supply our industries with a trained workforce.”
The 95,000 square foot building on the Everett Community College campus will house classrooms, laboratories, faculty offices and services for students working toward degrees in STEM education fields. Construction is expected to be completed by spring of 2017.
“This groundbreaking is the culmination of two decades of hard work, creativity and courage,” said Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson. “Expanding access to four-year baccalaureate and advanced degrees in Snohomish County has been a shared vision championed by the City, Washington State University, Everett Community College, the University Center partnership and a broad coalition of our region’s business and community leaders.”
“The success of our students will become the success of our community,” said WSU North Puget Sound at Everett dean Paul Pitre. “We will provide students with access to higher education and research of the highest quality in the science, technology, engineering and math fields, which will, in turn, support the economic development of our region and innovation within our region’s most demanding industries.”
“This is a big, big deal,” Stephanson told The Daily Herald before ceremonial shovels turned dirt in North Everett. “For anyone who’s ever had any doubt of Washington State’s commitment to Everett, this should erase any doubts. We really can plant the WSU flag right now.”
WSU North Puget Sound at Everett offers in-demand degree-completion programs in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, hospitality business management and integrated communication. Software engineering and data analytics programs are planned for fall 2016. WSU North Puget Sound at Everett leads the Everett University Center, a consortium of seven universities offering more than 20 degree-completion programs. About 530 students are currently enrolled in Everett University Center programs.