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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Gonzaga plans $8.1 million residential building for Jesuits

Gonzaga University has hired several architecture and engineering firms and applied for a permit to erect a three-story, 36,000-square-foot residential building for Jesuit priests, complete with a courtyard, chapel and dining hall.

But until the board of trustees formally approves the project, the university won’t talk about it.

Gonzaga spokesman Pete Tormey said he wasn’t authorized to discuss the project last week. He said more information, including renderings of the proposed building, would be released after the trustees vote in mid-July.

David Sonntag, a Gonzaga associate vice president, said university officials are keeping quiet “out of respect for our leadership.”

“It’s because the project has yet to receive final approval from the trustees,” Sonntag said. “When things go public, they like it to be as final and accurate as possible.”

Documents filed with the city say the Jesuit Residence Center – if approved – will take up the northwest corner of East Boone Avenue and North Astor Street. The project is valued at $8.1 million and will include rooms for 20 priests as well as one or two guest rooms.

Three buildings will be razed to make room for the center, including the Rebbman House, an all-male freshman dormitory that houses fewer than 40 students. The other two buildings are two-story houses owned by Gonzaga.

Planners hosted a 45-minute public forum in November to gather feedback about the project. Only one couple attended and voiced support.

The site plan was developed by BAR Architects, a San Francisco firm. Building documents also list Spokane firms Bernardo-Wills Architects, DCI Engineers and MW Consulting Engineers. City documents say Gonzaga will pursue LEED certification for the building.

Gonzaga’s permit application is being reviewed by the city Planning Department.

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