State awards $2.2 million for WSU Vancouver Life Sciences Building

Rendering of the Life Sciences Building on the WSU Vancouver campus and a map showing its location.
The Life Sciences Building is expected to open in spring 2024.

Washington State University recently secured more than $2 million in additional state funding for its Life Sciences Building project on the Vancouver campus to compensate for elevated construction supply costs.

The cost of construction materials, from structural steel to drywall and insulation, have risen dramatically since WSU put together its initial plans for the new Life Sciences Building. Prior to securing additional state funding, the project team mitigated approximately $7 million worth of cost increases by optimizing lab, office and classroom spaces as well as adjusting finishings and finding other efficiencies.

Even with these savings, WSU found its project around $3 million over budget and requested further funding from the Washington State Office of Financial Management. That office opted to allocate a further $2.264 million from its Capital Community Assistance Account.

“Based on the request letter and supporting documentation, WSU has already implemented detailed cost reduction and management strategies and this funding is necessary to complete the project as originally scoped,” David Schumacher, director of the Washington State Office of Financial Management, wrote in his response to WSU’s request.

In March, members of the WSU Board of Regents voted unanimously to increase the budget of the WSU Vancouver Life Sciences Building by $4.5 million in response to higher-than-expected construction costs. University leaders broke ground on the project site in November 2021, with the project expected to be finished in October 2023.

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