RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University Tri-Cities will break ground on its new $30 million academic building at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, on the vacant lot across from the Consolidated Information Center (CIC) on campus.

While the event is not open to the public, members of the media are invited to attend.

The 40,000-square-foot building will house a suite of teaching laboratories, classrooms, collaborative meeting spaces for students and faculty, study spaces, as well as a grand staircase that will feature open seating for lectures and presentations. The building is being funded by the Washington state Legislature.

“This facility will present many transformational learning and collaborative experiences for all WSU Tri-Cities students,” said WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor Sandra Haynes. “While the focus of the building is the sciences, nearly all WSU Tri-Cities will take courses in the building, and all are welcome to use the variety of study nooks, collaborative spaces and more that came highly requested by our study body.”

Haynes said the building design is the result of feedback they received as part of a variety of open forum sessions with students, faculty and staff about what they wanted to see in the space, as well as how the facilities could best be utilize for learning.

The new academic building is expected to open in fall 2021.

The teaching laboratories in the new facility will include:

  • A physics laboratory
  • Two biology laboratories
  • A chemistry laboratory
  • An Anatomy/physiology laboratory
  • A geology laboratory
  • A multidisciplinary laboratory
  • An engineering classroom

Collaborative spaces include:

  • An active learning room
  • A team-based classroom
  • Office spaces
  • Three small-sized solution rooms
  • Two medium-sized solution rooms

As part of a groundbreaking ceremony, individuals will hear remarks from WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor Sandra Haynes; WSU Regent Lura Powell; engineering student Adriana McKinney; ZGF principal architect Taka Soga; Chip Tull, vice president of Hoffman Construction Company; as well as Zachary Harper, vice president for the Associated Students of WSU Tri-Cities.

Light refreshments will be served.

Individuals interested in partnering for betterments, laboratory equipment and technology and more for the building, should contact Jaime Heppler, WSU Tri-Cities executive director of advancement and community engagement, at 509-372-7207 or

For more information about the WSU Tri-Cities academic building, visit

Media contacts:

  • Jaime Heppler, WSU Tri-Cities executive director of advancement and community engagement, 509-372-7207,
  • Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities public relations specialist, 509-372-7333,