By Phil Weiler, University Communications
RICHLAND, Wash. – The Washington State University Board of Regents today agreed to move forward with two real estate actions and approved an increase to certain housing and dining rates for students in Pullman.
The regents voted to dedicate right of way to a portion of a parking lot on the WSU Spokane campus to the City of Spokane. This property is needed by the city for the northern landing of the University District Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridge, which will be constructed over the Burlington Northern Railroad tracks. The tracks divide the Spokane campus from the Spokane medical district and hospitals to the south.
When complete, the bridge will provide direct access from the WSU Spokane campus to the areas south of the railroad tracks, thereby improving access, housing, entertainment, and overnight accommodation opportunities for WSU students, employees and visitors. The bridge is expected to facilitate future expansion of the WSU Spokane campus into that area as well.
The regents also approved a motion to relocate animal research programs being dislocated by the realignment of Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport runway to university-owned land on the northeast corner of the intersection of SR 270 and Terre View. This property is commonly referred to as the Hilltop site.
The Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport currently is constructing a realignment of its runway to increase its width and length. The project will bring the runway into compliance with current Federal Aviation Administration regulations. However, the new alignment results in the Runway Protection Zone extending over adjacent WSU research facilities.
The university originally had intended to construct and relocate impacted animal research programs and support facilities to the Tula Young Hastings Farm outside of Pullman. However, the estimated cost of relocation exceeds available funding.
University administration recommended that the animal research programs be relocated to WSU-owned land on the Hilltop site. This alternate site will allow the project to be completed within available funds. The Hilltop location also allows for greater efficiencies in operations given the shorter distance between existing research programs and campus research and office locations.
Housing, dining rates to increase
The Board of Regents also voted to increase the WSU housing and dining rates for students on the Pullman campus. The new rates will take effect with the start of fall semester 2018.
Students staying in the WSU Pullman residence halls will see a 1.7 percent increase of the total weighted average for room and board (weighted average of a double room and level 2 dining plan). This represents an increase of $192. Apartment dwellers will experience a 1.5 percent increase of the total weighted average for apartment rates.
The WSU Housing and Dining system is a self-sustaining auxiliary unit that requires establishing room and board rates that are sufficient to meet bond covenants and support the university’s strategic goals. These rates are recommended by the Housing and Dining Advisory Board and approved by the WSU Board of Regents.
The Housing and Dining Advisory Board is comprised of student representatives from the Resident Hall Association, Associated Students of Washington State University, and Graduate and Professional Students Association, as well as representatives from the Budget Office, Finance and Administration, and Student Affairs. The recommended increases presented to the regents for approval received unanimous support from the Housing and Dining Advisory Board.
The next meeting of the WSU Board of the Regents is scheduled for May 3-4 on the WSU Spokane campus.
Phil Weiler, vice president for marketing and communication, 509-335-4742, firstname.lastname@example.org