Posted: Monday, April 11, 2016 10:45 am
Several students attended an open house at Northwest University to ask questions and share their concerns about a recently revealed master plan for renovations that will be made throughout the next 20 years. The room was filled with large poster boards explaining different phases and projects, as well as representatives to speak about each board.
The master plan includes several new buildings and some renovations to existing buildings. There will be a new welcome center to replace the Pecota Center and a new gymnasium pavilion will replace the current pavilion. A new fitness center will allow the school to have a physical therapy program and will be located just above the pavilion at NE 55th Ln and 11th way NE.
A six court indoor tennis center will go near the pavilion and fitness center and NU will be partnering with Northwest High Performance Tennis, allowing them to use our new tennis facilities through a long term lease.
Future students can expect a new dormitory with approximately 300 beds behind Millard Hall, which will help accommodate the 1,200 student total enrollment. A new field house, bleachers at athletic fields and new additions to the Butterfield Chapel can also be expected. More parking will be a priority during the renovation process; an estimated 250 parking stalls will be added.
John Jordan, Northwest University CFO said, “We would like to be able to increase the Kirkland undergraduate population in the future. In order to do that we need more dorm space and a larger cafeteria.”
When renovations begin, students can expect to face minimal impacts. “We hope to fund all improvements with a capital campaign,” said Jordan. “At the present time we are not planning for tuition increases to fund the new buildings. More than likely, the new dorm will be priced higher than the current dorms.”
There are proposed phases for the renovations, and holding this meeting was part of the process. The next step will be to review the community input and refine the plan accordingly before the next open house. It is estimated that the master plan will be adopted in February of 2017.
The next open house will be held on May 9th and there will be a public hearing in September 2016.
President Joseph Castleberry said, “We have been working on these plans for a year. Some of you might ask why we’re doing this? Well, our current master plan has expired … we want a college Kirkland can be proud of.”