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The Dirt: SIERR building in University District to undergo remodel for EWU nursing program

The historic SIERR building in the University District is undergoing renovations for its newest tenant, Eastern Washington University.  (Rendering courtesy of CollinsWoerman)
The historic SIERR building in the University District is undergoing renovations for its newest tenant, Eastern Washington University. (Rendering courtesy of CollinsWoerman)

The historic SIERR building in the University District will be undergoing renovations to make way for Eastern Washington University’s nursing, and communication science and disorders programs.

Seattle-based Emerald Initiative filed a building permit application on behalf of the university to convert existing open office areas into classrooms and add study and lounge areas on the first floor of the 60,000-square-foot structure at 850 E. Spokane Falls Blvd.

More than 15,900 square feet of the building’s second floor also will undergo renovations for classrooms, a site plan for the project shows.

Some existing private offices will remain in the building, according to the application.

When renovations are complete, EWU will occupy more than 23,580 square feet of the building.

Spokane-based Bouten Construction is the project contractor. CollinsWoerman, of Spokane, is the architect.

The permit valuation is $3.3 million, according to the application.

Beginning in January, admission applications will open for EWU’s nursing program, with the inaugural class of 40 to start in the fall. A second class of 40 students will be admitted in spring 2024, according to the university.

EWU indicates the nursing program’s location within the University District will help strengthen partnerships with other health education centers in the area.

The SIERR building – otherwise known as the Spokane Inland Empire Railroad building – is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Seattle-based McKinstry and Emerald Initiative redeveloped the former rail repair facility into a modern, LEED-certified multitenant building in 2011, said Patrick Farley, principal of Emerald Initiative.

The SIERR building is anchored by University of Washington’s School of Medicine and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Spokane office, in addition to Eastern Washington University’s Nursing and Communications Disorders programs.

EWU’s renovations are slated to be complete in the summer , Farley said.

Chuck E. Cheese to remodel north Spokane restaurant

Chuck E. Cheese, an entertainment and restaurant chain headquartered in Dallas, is remodeling its north Spokane location.

Chuck E. Cheese filed a permit application with the city to upgrade the restaurant’s exterior with new paint, signage, logos and front doors at 10007 N. Nevada St.

The restaurant chain is also upgrading furniture, wall finishes and lighting in the 12,000-square foot building as well as removing a stage area and replacing it with a dance floor and video wall.

Lewisville, Texas-based Parkway C&A is the project contractor and architect.

The permit valuation is $465,000, according to the application.

Chuck E. Cheese also operates a location at 14919 E. Sprague Ave. in Spokane Valley. The company also submitted plans in June to renovate that location, but the permit application remains under review by the city.

Bar to share building with Gamer’s Haven, Vieux Carré

A space formerly occupied by Maverick’s Mens Hair will be converted into a new bar in West Central.

Bob and Danielle Kelley filed a change of use application with the city to convert the former 870-square-foot barbershop into the Wobbly Goblin Tavern at 1403 W. Broadway Ave., Suite 201.

Site plans show a dining area with 10 tables, in addition to a small bar and kitchen.

Bob Kelley and Chris Skinner co-own The Gamer’s Haven, which also occupies the building, in addition to Cajun and Creole-inspired restaurant Vieux Carre.

Kelley, Skinner and Melissa Cheney purchased the property for $440,000 in 2019, Spokane County Assessor’s Office records show.

The building, constructed in 1903, was home to various tenants throughout the years, including a nursing home, women’s shelter and law offices.

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