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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

First permits issued for construction of U-District’s Catalyst Building

The Catalyst Building was issued its first building permits this week. It is expected to be complete April 2020. (Courtesy of EWU)

The University District Gateway Bridge opened last week, which was quickly followed by the city issuing building permits to Avista Corp. at the bridge’s south landing.

The permits signal the beginning of construction for the five-story, 164,000-square-foot Catalyst Building. Located on East Sprague Avenue, the building will house three degree programs and about 1,000 Eastern Washington University students when it’s completed in April 2020.

As the main tenant, EWU will move its computer science, electrical engineering and visual communication design programs from its Cheney campus to the building.

The permits, for the first building’s core and shell, value the first phase of the project at $18.6 million. Overall, construction is expected to cost more than $50 million.

The structure will rely on cross-laminated timbers, a super-strong wood product developed by California-based Katerra. They will be produced at the company’s factory in Spokane Valley.

The building project is being developed jointly by Avista and McKinstry, which say it will be “the first net-zero energy and zero carbon building in Eastern Washington.”

In June, the Spokane City Council committed $430,000 for street improvements, water service and other infrastructure to serve the Catalyst building, the largest economic incentive ever offered by the city.

Katerra is the project’s general contractor and architect. Structural engineering will be done by KPFF.