CASCADIA NEWS: Important Campus Modifications beginning 3/30

Hello Cascadians, 

Beginning next week, you will begin to see physical changes to our campus associated with capital and construction projects.  

Food Forest - Tuesday, March 30. 

Eight trees will be temporarily transplanted from the Food Forest in preparation for a trench that needs to be excavated to carry sewer/stormwater for our STEM 4 building. Although the excavation will not begin until August, the trees need to be moved before they start to leaf out in April and May in order to minimize any trauma to them. The project has contracted with Big Trees in Snohomish to remove the trees and transport them to their nursery where they will be replanted and cared for until the construction is completed. They will be sending us photographs of the trees and our grounds crew has been invited to visit the trees during their stay. After the trees are removed on Tuesday, the holes will be filled in and the Food Forest will be accessible until construction fencing goes up in August. 

Walkways – Summer through Fall 2021.  

As part of our campus ADA project, we will be making improvements to exterior walkways and sidewalks this summer pending permits. The work will go out to bid in April 2021. Since portions of walkways/sidewalks will be torn up, this project will take place in stages and will be coordinated with STEM 4 construction to ensure access to all campus buildings throughout the construction. The exterior ADA projects will be completed in October or November. This marks the second half of our ADA project. The first half, which covered exterior wayfinding signage and interior signage in UWB and joint campus buildings, is nearly finished. 

Ancestors – Early July 2021. 

The State Art Commission is working with us to develop a plan for our Ancestors. As it stands now, they will be housed somewhere on campus where they will be fully assessed by an art restorer. The hope is that the restoration will be able to take place here on campus but, depending on the scope of work required, they may need to be transported elsewhere for that work. The Ancestors will return to campus after the completion of STEM 4 in a new location to be determined. The Campus Art Review Team (a sub-committee of the Campus Design Review Team) is working to help identify locations. It may be possible that they will take up their permanent location just a bit to the south of where they currently stand. 

Campus Core – August 1, 2021 – August 2023. 

Mobilization for construction of STEM 4 set to begin August 1. Pending permits, fencing will be installed in August 2021 after which time grading and trenching will occur. The north two-thirds of the Food Forest will be temporarily offline until the end of construction, and the boulders will be relocated. Classes and individuals will still be able to access the south portion of the Food Forest. 

  • Crews will excavate a pit through the Food Forest and then will tunnel underground beginning at the Promenade, through the docking/unloading station at the south end of CC1, under Campus Way, and down the hill to a pond that will be built to retain storm water. The pond is located south of the sports field for now but will be relocated on the other side of the bike path if agencies determine we are able to do so without posing any risk to the wet lands. The Food Forest will be fully restored (with the return of the boulders!) most likely during the spring of 2023. 
  • The upper surface parking lots at the south side of campus will serve as a staging area for construction and, therefore, will not be available for daily or permit parking. There will be ample parking on the campus since the West Garage can open whenever we need more parking capacity. 
  • Fencing will go up around the perimeter of the STEM 4 project in August. This will take the earth pits used by some of our Natural Science classes offline. In coordination with faculty, the project team is looking for a permanent location for earth pits elsewhere on campus.  
  • Razing and grading for STEM 4 is expected to begin taking place in late summer. We will share more information about what this will involve as we near the date. 

North Campus – September 2021 – Fall of 2023 

  • Directly on the heels of STEM 4, construction of the new Husky Village will begin. This project will ultimately result in student housing, dining options (!), and UWB offices, and will connect to the campus core via an accessible walkway that will eventually run from the future bus stops on Beardslee with the Promenade. 
  • What about our bus stop? We have been frequently meeting with the city and three transit agencies to develop a plan for the campus transit station. This is a very complex situation since it needs to tie into Sound Transits new BRT 522 project (which will connect a light rail stop at 145th/I-5 to Woodinville via a campus hub) and Washington Department of Transportations I-405 improvements directly to the east of campus. We are closing in on an agreement that will have short-term, medium-term, and long-term solutions that take our campus construction projects into consideration. 

Future Communications 

This is just the first of what will become regular communications with employees and students to keep everyone regularly updated about the projects in general as well as the impacts to our campus. 

Thank you in advance for your patience as we "dig in." We are entering a major chapter in the physical development of our campus. Two-and-a-half years from now we will be able to enjoy fantastic new buildings, amenities, gardens, and gathering spaces. If you have questions about any of the above, please contact Kim Clark or Meagan Walker


Meagan Walker
VP for External Relations & Campus Planning