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Washington State University regents OK three capital projects

The Washington State University Board of Regents approved the construction of three capital projects, including a new $52.8 million laboratory building, during its meeting at the WSU Vancouver campus Friday.

The regents unanimously voted for the construction of the Clean Technology Laboratory Building, an interdisciplinary facility that will house science and engineering programs on the Pullman campus. The 96,000-square-foot building will be used to study technologies in sustainable materials, atmospheric research and water quality. The gravel parking lot south of Grimes Way, immediately west of the Agronomy Seed House, has been selected as the site for the building. The board approved the building’s design in May 2012, and construction is expected to be completed in summer 2015.

The regents then approved a $20 million general revenue bond to help fund the lab’s construction. The 2013 state Legislature authorized WSU to issue the bond and to use WSU’s Building Fee and Trust Fund Revenue to pay the debt, which would have a maximum term of 30 years. In its 2013-15 Capital Budget request, WSU also requested the Legislature to appropriate $30.3 million for the project.

Two other capital projects were also given the go-ahead by the regents.

They unanimously approved the $40 million design and construction of a second Northside Residence Hall building. The 100,000-square-foot, 250-bed residence is set to be constructed near the recently completed 100,000 square-foot Northside Residence Hall on Colorado Street. Construction is set to start next March and be completed in June 2015. The project will be funded by a 30-year, $40 million bond, which the regents approved Friday as well.

Unanimous approval was also given to a $10 million project to replace WSU’s aging plant science research infrastructure with a new 34,000-square-foot plant growth facility. The facility would include new greenhouses and about 50 growth chambers. It will be in the east part of campus between Wilson Road and Ellis Way. Many existing facilities, including greenhouses and controlled environments, are more than 50 years old, according to the university.