Cheney Free Press -


Staff Reporter 

EWU has new prominence in Spokane's University District


Paul Delaney

Washington State University's transfering of the Phase 1 classroom building will give Eastern Washington University more visibility at Spokane's Riverpoint Campus.

Eastern Washington University will no longer be hidden away in downtown Spokane's University District.

The university recently announced that the Phase 1 building at 668 N. Riverpoint Blvd., located at its intersection with Trent Avenue, will become EWU property with the transfer from Washington State University.

Eastern took control of the property in a ceremony in early June. The building, originally dedicated in 1996, currently houses the school's College of Business and Public Administration. Starting this fall, it will also be home to EWU's new College of Health Science and Public Health.

"Having our own building in the University District is important to our continued growth in graduate programs on the campus," retiring EWU President Rodolfo Arévalo said in a statement. "This will also bolster our many academic and community partnerships in the region - including the one with WSU Spokane which made this move possible."

This allows EWU Spokane to centralize its downtown programs, which have over the years occupied locations across the downtown area including the former Great Western Bank Building, the Bon Marche - now Macy's - and the former Farm Credit Building.

"This transition will allow Eastern to have a clear physical identity on the campus and give them the opportunity to renovate the building to suit their needs and priorities," WSU Spokane Chancellor Lisa Brown said, "I'm pleased that Dr. Arévalo and I were able to achieve this for the campus."

Washington State will still use part of the the building for classes and events. EWU will continue to have a presence in other campus facilities, such as the health sciences building.

The Phase 1 classroom building has 119,600 square feet and includes a 205-seat auditorium, classrooms, faculty and staff office space and a computer lab. As in the past, maintenance and operation of the building will be handled by WSU Spokane.

The arrangement that allows EWU to take over the building was finalized following recent state legislation regarding two other buildings on campus, including the former Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute (SIRTI) Building at 665 N. Riverpoint Blvd. SIRTI recently lost state funding.

Now known as the Innovate Washington Building, the former SIRTI space will be occupied by WSU Spokane, allowing EWU Spokane to fully utilize Phase 1.

Paul Delaney can be reached at


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