Whitworth College Friday dedicated its new $4.2 million student center.
The two-story brick building is home to student services such as the bookstore, a post office, an espresso bar and game room.
“It’s so cool to have a place for students,” said Wendi Stori, this year’s student body president. “It’s totally symbolic of how important students are at Whitworth.”
Named the Whitworth Campus Center, the building was designed by Integrus Architecture and erected by Robert Goebel General Contractor.
It has 26,000 square feet of space on two floors. The building’s center has a vaulted ceiling with an atrium-style skylight that’s 140 feet long.
A large multipurpose area is used for snack-bar dining during the day and special events such as speakers or dances at night.
The second floor is built off a mezzanine balcony overlooking a central lounge area, which has a fireplace. Large windows give panoramic views of the wooded campus.
Historic black-and-white photos from the campus decorate the walls.
The center replaces the old Hardwick Union Building, which was demolished.
Part of the money for the project was raised through the sale of bricks engraved with the names of donors. They are adjacent to the southwest entrance.
Donors and members of the Spokane community attended a dedication ceremony Friday evening featuring a performance by the Whitworth College Jazz Ensemble.
College President Bill Robinson said the student center was built primarily with cash from the university’s capital funds.
The college set up a special endowment fund to pay for maintenance, he said.
The student center is part of an ongoing effort to upgrade campus facilities.
College officials are planning a second phase of the student center to house dining services. However, that project is being delayed.
Whitworth had some of its campus construction money on deposit with an East Coast philanthropic foundation that filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.
The college deposited $3.5 million with the foundation as part of a foundation program to double the initial amount through anonymous donors. That money is tied up in the bankruptcy and may be lost to the college.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo