Cheney Free Press -

By Grace Pohl
Staff Reporter 

Eastern Washington University to move programs to Spokane


February 15, 2018

Avista Corporation

An artist's rendering of the proposed Catalyst Building is shown above. As the anchor tenant, Eastern Washington University intends to move three STEM programs from the Cheney campus to the Spokane building by 2020.

Eastern Washington University has been growing over the years in Cheney and it is now even expanding in Spokane.

It was announced on Feb. 6 that EWU was selected as the primary tenant in Avista Development's planned Catalyst Building in Spokane's University District. Eastern already has a small portion of its schooling at the Spokane Riverfront campus, but with this move, three different degree programs will call this campus its home.

The programs are all from the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (CSTEM), including its computer science, electrical engineering and visual communication design majors. About 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students will be involved in the move.

"Eastern Washington University is excited to establish itself as a distinctive university that truly inspires knowledge, ignites change and revolutionizes the way we do education," EWU President Mary Cullinan said in the press release. "From the beginning, we felt like the development at South Landing would provide our students a one-of-a-kind opportunity to interact with the companies that may one day employ them."

"We're thrilled to be the catalyst for expanding Spokane's urban core," Scott Morris, president and CEO of Avista said in the same release. "This development will add to the vibrancy of the University District and will drive further economic development in the city."

The new expansion for EWU is a part of Avista Development's planned 150,000 square foot Catalyst Building in Spokane's University District. EWU will occupy 57,000 feet. Construction is set to begin this September with doors opening in 2020.

The building is designed to be "net zero ready," meaning it will generate the energy it uses through solar panels on the roof and additional renewable energy technologies.

Located 17 miles from the main campus in Cheney, the current EWU Spokane Riverfront campus is the location of EWU's College of Health Science and Public Health along with the College of Business and Public Administration. About 3,000 students take one or more classes at the location.

The expansion announcement in Spokane followed the news of EWU beginning the design process for the new Interdisciplinary Science Center after the state Legislature approved the 2017-19 capital budget. On Jan. 19, it was announced that the funds included the full amount of $67 million that EWU requested for the new building.

The $4.2 billion capital budget also included an $11.7 million for other EWU campus projects.

Going into the fall 2017 quarter, there were 12,607 students enrolled at Eastern Washington. The population showed a steady growth as 2016 started with 12,270 and 2015 was at 11,989. The high mark for the university was in 2014 when 13,453 students were enrolled at the beginning of the academic year.

Grace Pohl can be reached at


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