Research facility to open at WSU Mount Vernon

MOUNT VERNON – An opening celebration for Washington State University’s Agricultural Research and Technology Building will be Dec. 6.  The new facility is the centerpiece in the $8 million revitalization of the WSU Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center.

The invitation-only celebration will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the new facility on the Mount Vernon NWREC campus, located at 16650 State Route 536 (old Memorial Highway).  Among those presenting brief comments will be WSU president V. Lane Rawlins, Board of Regents president Ken Alhadeff, WSU executive vice president Larry James and dean of the WSU College of
Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences Dan Bernardo.

Completion of the building represents a critical achievement in revitalizing the 59-year old research unit as a modern full service research and extension center to serve the state’s agriculture industry and the needs of northwestern Washington growers.  The agricultural community of northwestern Washington crafted the vision for the renovated and expanded center, which was embraced and supported by WSU.

The new, state-of-the-art 18,758 square foot facility replaces 15,364 square feet of obsolete or substandard spaces that have now been demolished to provide parking for the new facility.  Modern, well-equipped laboratory facilities will enable research faculty, staff and graduate students to significantly expand their research capabilities.

The ARTB includes laboratories for entomology, fruit horticulture, vegetable horticulture, vegetable pathology, seed pathology, water resources and weed science.  It includes office and administrative space, and public areas including an auditorium and a demonstration kitchen.

A new 3,200 square foot four-bay research greenhouse is currently under construction adjacent to the ARTB. 

The construction team is lead by project manager Virgil Hanson of WSU Capital Planning and Development, ARC Architects of Seattle, Wash. and Impero Contracting of Bellingham, Wash.

As a major commitment in support of western Washington agriculture, WSU committed $6 million to the much-needed renovation.  Additional funding is being provided through grants from local governments, and a $1.5 million WSU Foundation community fund-raising campaign.

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