Who's going to pay for the celebatory champagne toast, when Gov. Jay Inslee and a host of wine industry folks meet in the Tri-Cities to fomally break ground on a new wine science center?.
The new center -- officially the Wine Science Center at WSU Tri-Cities -- will be a key statewide effort to nurture and support the region's wine industry. The groundbreaker starts at 10 a.m. on Sept. 26.
Its goal, as summarized in a WSU release, is to triple the economic impact of this $8.6 billion industry to reach more than $20 billion by 2020.
"Having this research facility is critical to the continued growth of our Pacific Northwest wine industry,” said Ted Baseler, President and CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, a WSU Regent and chair of the WSU Campaign for Wine.
The Wine Science Center Development Authority selected Lydig Construction Inc. and ALSC Architects of Spokane to design and build the project. The $23 million building will have approximately 39,300 gross square feet and is being designed to LEED Silver standards.
A major gift was a $600,000 in-kind donation of equipment to the center by Spokane Industries, which makes high-end wine fermentation tanks. Our SR story explains the gift. A story on the making of the vessels can be found here.
The conceptual design includes a research and teaching winery, state-of-the-art research laboratories, classrooms, conference rooms, and a regional and international wine library. A dramatic central lobby will provide views of the research winery floor and outdoors toward the Columbia River and the WSU Tri-Cities campus.
Construction is expected to be complete in early 2015.