The Washington State University Board of Regents gave its approval Friday for students to build a student union building on the WSU Tri-Cities campus in Richland.
The project, estimated to cost no more than $5.73 million, would be paid for by a $150 student fee. The Associated Students of WSU Tri-Cities is also expected to provide $1.5 million toward construction.
“The students showed significant maturity in saving money for this project,” said Regent Mike Worthy in a release. “They never gave up for a second and they kept their eye on the ball. Vigilance does pay off.”
Student leaders and university officials have said the union is necessary to improve student life on campus because it will provide space in a non-academic building for student activities.
Preliminary plans call for the union building to be built behind the Consolidated Information Center. It would be a single level with about 6,000 square feet and would ideally have a lobby, lounge, study room, computer lab and game room, student officials have said. It could still be more than a year before ground is broken on the project.
Students had originally agreed to pay a $100 fee per semester to finance the building with proceeds from the sale of university property on George Washington Way also contributing. However, the property has been listed for months and student leaders pushed to raise the student fee so the project wasn’t delayed.