The University of Washington and Gonzaga University will expand their health sciences partnership in Spokane by moving several programs to a new $60 million building set to open in 2022.
The Spokane Spokesman-Review reports that both universities have approved lease agreements with McKinstry, a design and construction company, to build a new health sciences building adjacent to the Gonzaga campus that will house the University of Washington School of Medicine-Gonzaga University Regional Health Partnership.
Construction of the four-story, 80,000-square-foot building will begin next spring, and it is slated to be complete by August 2022. McKinstry will own the building and lease space to the two universities for their health sciences programs.
The University of Washington School of Medicine’s five-state regional program has 120 students in Spokane for their first two years of medical school. Those students will move into the new building, as well as the physician assistants program, which has 30 to 35 students. Gonzaga University’s undergraduate human physiology program, which has 210 students, also will move to the building.
“We have been very, very lucky to be using the facility we are, but it wasn’t built purposely for medical education,” University of Washington president Ana Mari Cauce says. “This new facility will meet the long-term space needs of our medical education partnership.”
The building will not be solely for academics, and one floor will be empty, at least at first. The plan is to have medical companies or nonprofits take up residence there.
The building will have new anatomy and research labs and on-site solar and renewable energy generation. There will be an underground parking lot as well as fitness facilities and retail space. The Spokane Inland Empire Railroad Building, adjacent to the new building site, will be turned over to the health sciences and add 57,000 square feet of space.
The University of Washington School of Medicine began a partnership with Gonzaga in 2016; 220 medical students and 85 physician assistant students have completed their studies since then.