by Doug Nadvornick & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & E & lt;/span & astern Washington University Vice President for Facilities Shawn King says the university's new downtown neighbor, Walt Worthy's Davenport Towers, sure makes EWU's Spokane Center look good.
"It doesn't affect the value of our building much [an estimated $3 million to $4 million]," King says. "But it gives it a lot more curb appeal."
That's a good thing because Eastern will soon sell the 68,000-square-foot building where the university has taught classes and headquartered a few of its programs since 1980. King says the 38-year-old structure is built like a rock but showing its age. "It needs some major renovation, a new HVAC system, windows, that kind of thing."
King says the building will soon be opened to bids with the sale expected within two months.
EWU officials say the university plans to build its own facility on the Riverpoint campus within five years.
"The nice thing about selling the Spokane Center is that it will give us the money to do the pre-design and design work for that without having to go to the legislature," says King.
And where on campus would EWU build?
"We can pull out the master plan and find about 10 different sites," says Brian Pitcher, chancellor at WSU Spokane, EWU's Riverpoint partner.
For now, Eastern plans to move some of its Spokane Center offices into the Riverpoint Phase One classroom building -- space that formerly housed the campus library. That library is now at WSU's Academic Center, which also has classrooms Eastern may use on a temporary basis.
EWU officials say they're still determining which programs they'll move to Riverpoint. They say the dental hygiene and physical therapy programs may find a permanent home in the University District.
Dr. Philip Castille, EWU's Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, also hopes the creative writing program will find a home there. "It's our premier graduate program," he says. "It truly recruits students from all around the nation."
Castille also says Eastern's Inland Northwest Center for Writers and the EWU Press are also candidates for space at Riverpoint.