Slightly more than a year after they broke ground, construction has started on the first phase of WSU Tri-Cities’ housing.
Chervenell Construction began work on the first 162-bed apartment complex, which is scheduled to open for fall 2018.
“Everything has been fulfilled,” said Jeff Dennison, WSU Tri-Cities’ director of marketing and communications. “We’re just ecstatic that it’s moving forward.”
Richland officials signed off on two permits totaling $8.5 million this summer to start the project on University Drive. Corporate Pointe Developers, a Pullman-based company, is working with the university on the project.
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The full project, which will feature room for 700 people, is divided into seven phases on the 15 acres north of the Consolidated Information Center building on campus.
The harsh winter of 2016 delayed an archeological study, knocking construction back about a year.
The Richland campus wants the housing to give students another place to stay, including those commuting from Yakima and Walla Walla.
Those students will have an option where they won’t have to make those drives.
Jeff Dennison, WSU Tri-Cities director of marketing and communications
“Those students will have an option where they won’t have to make those drives,” Dennison said, adding that the housing helps with recruiting west side students.
Prospective and new students often ask about on campus housing, he said.
With the growing enrollment at the school, it’s expected more students will want a place to stay.
Corporate Pointe operates several commercial and residential properties in Washington and Idaho, including several apartment complexes, and are paying about $8 million to $9 million per construction phase.
The company will manage the property, with the university providing programming for the students.
While a priority will be placed on applications from students, the single-family apartments will be open to the public.