New Construction

UW Tacoma Starts Construction on New Academic Building

Construction has begun on a new academic building on the campus of the University of Washington Tacoma in Tacoma, Washington. Milgard Hall, which will stand three stories tall and cover 55,000 square feet, will house classes and office space for the Milgard School of Business, lab space for the School of Engineering and Technology and expanded space for the Global Innovation and Design Lab, as well as general classrooms.

“We were already working on this project because the campus is growing so fast,” said UWT Chancellor Mark Pagano. The university has an enrollment of about 5,400 students, about 1,000 more than when Pagano assumed his current role in 2015. UWT plans to introduce new degree programs in mechanical engineering this fall and civil engineering next fall, and accommodating this student population growth was a major factor in the building’s construction.

According to the university website, the project’s overall goals are to promote interdisciplinary innovation through shared space and foster interactions among faculty, staff and students. The new facility will also open up various spaces around campus to allow other programs room to grow.

The university gained $36 million in funding from the state and $10 million in fundraising from the university and private donors. The building will be named after James A. and Carolyn Milgard and the Gary E. Milgard Family Foundations, which provided $8 million toward the project’s development.

The university has partnered with Anderson Construction and Architecture Research Office for construction, which is scheduled for completion in fall 2022. Construction materials include cross-laminated timber, which Pagano said was chosen for sustainability purposes as well as to live up to the city’s moniker as the “Lumber Capital of the World.”

“We believe that [Milgard Hall] will help us take our next step forward and serve the needs of the students we have on campus now, but we believe we’re going to be out of space if we’re growing at the rate we’ve had in the past,” he said.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].