Cheney Free Press -

Eastern agrees to terms selling Higher Education Center to Pyrotek


August 16, 2012



Eastern Washington University officials are hoping the third time is truly a charm when it comes to selling the Higher Education Center in Spokane.

In a special teleconference meeting Aug. 8 the university's board of trustees unanimously approved the terms and conditions of a purchase agreement with Spokane-based Pyrotek to purchase the downtown former classroom building. According to its website, Pyrotek is a worldwide producer of equipment, consumables and consulting related to the refining, melting, processing and casting of molten aluminum. Privately owned since 1956, Pyrotek offers technical expertise and global resources with 66 locations in 31 countries.

In one of two approved motions, the board gave approval to EWU president Dr. Rodolfo Arévalo and university vice president for business and finance Mary Voves to finalize contract terms agreed to on July 23 with Pyrotek, pending board approval. Sell price is $1.8 million for the four-story, 33 classroom building that was originally the Farm Credit Bank building and opened as Eastern's downtown Spokane education extension in April 1983.

Eastern has been down this road twice before. In July 2007 the university thought they had the building sold to Portland, Ore.-based Real Estate Advisory Services, Inc. for $3.4 million, only to have the deal fall through because of financing reasons later.

This past March the board agreed to terms to sell the building for $2 million to USA Real Estate Fund 1, Inc., only to have that deal fall through as well from a lack of diligence on the part of the buyer.

“From our side, they never completed the offer,” Voves said. “The contract then expired without fulfillment.”

Voves said the contract with Pyrotek gives the company 45 days to fulfill their part of the agreement, giving a tentative closing date of Sept. 5.

If that contract also falls through, the board of trustees as part of the resolution agreeing to the terms with Pyrotek, also gave Arévalo and Voves powers to finalize a future sale of the building “pursuant to an alternative or amended Purchase and Sale Agreement under such terms and conditions as they determine to be reasonable” and take actions to complete that sale without a special meeting seeking the board's approval.

John McCallum can be reached at


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