Details of the Gateway Project, Eastern Washington University’s vision for a multimillion-dollar, multi-use athletic-cultural facility, will be shared this morning with the school’s Board of Trustees.
“We’re getting closer,” said Mike Westfall, vice president for university advancement and executive director of the EWU Foundation, who will make a similar presentation on Tuesday to the EWU Foundation Board.
“We have a great deal of information to share with both governing bodies as to what we want the Gateway Project to look like,” Westfall said, adding that schematic drawings, with “more than one possible look,” will be presented.
The project also envisions adding several thousand seats at Roos Field, pushing seating capacity to 18,000. Other amenities would include weightlifting facilities, locker rooms and a site for physical therapists.
The presentation will focus on the results of a feasibility project detailing the costs and revenue potential of the building, Westfall said.
“We want to get people up to speed on the schematic design process which we are at the conclusion of, and discuss the next steps as we analyze the feasibility and potential for the project,” he said.
Westfall acknowledged that “most, if not all” of the initial funding for the project will come from donors, some of whom have been identified.
“We feel it’s fundable,” Westfall said.
After that, the plan calls for revenue to be generated from retail rentals, especially from the service sector. Westfall said the project has drawn interest from two banks, a health-service company, a restaurant and others.
Westfall didn’t give an exact figure, but said the overall cost will be “significantly higher” than the $20 million to $22 million figure floated in the spring, when the project, with initial architectural renderings, was first presented to the trustees.
Westfall said he hopes to “continue down the path of design, and count on getting feedback from both boards, as to their opinion on the project, and what questions need to be answered from a governance standpoint.”
Westfall said that he wants to keep the project intact and not move piecemeal.
“By charting the vision today, I think we’ll see it come to fruition sometime in the future,” Westfall said.