BOTHELL, Washington — Autumn quarter has just begun, yet students at the University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia College are already looking forward to winter when the new Innovation Hall will open for classes. This new facility on the shared campus signals a significant expansion in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) research and education, expanding opportunities to meet the ever-growing need for STEM graduates in Washington state.
The $79 million, 80,000 square foot building includes 21,500 square feet of program space for each institution, with an additional 5,000 square feet of shared space. Educational programs offered include biology, chemistry, computer science, physics and electrical and mechanical engineering, with classes open to the respective institution’s majors.
“This collaboration with Cascadia College is a game-changer for students at both of our institutions,” said Dr. Leslie Cornick, dean of UW Bothell’s School of STEM. “Students and faculty will have increased opportunities and cutting-edge facilities to collaborate and create new knowledge as we continue our commitment to increasing opportunity, equity and inclusivity and building a larger, more diverse workforce of the future.”
State-of-the-art laboratories, classrooms and offices are designated for each institution, distributed across each floor so that related programs are adjacent to one another. Together with shared student gathering and study spaces they foster collaboration between the two institutions and create more opportunities for cross-disciplinary studies.
“Cascadia students will have the opportunity to interact with their peers and see themselves continuing their education at UW Bothell,” said Kristina Young, dean for Student Learning at Cascadia College. “By engaging with faculty and staff from both institutions, students will expand their horizons and connections.”
In 2019, each institution received approximately $40 million in state funding for a new STEM facility, intended for two separate buildings. An escalation in construction costs and an interest in reducing site impacts, however, led to UW Bothell and Cascadia College joining forces. The design build team of Lease Crutcher Lewis and Mithun helped the institutions realize their shared vision.
When it opens its doors to students in January, Innovation Hall will reflect UW Bothell and Cascadia College’s key objectives for the project: maximize space for instruction and research; create environments to support collaboration; foster active and inclusive learning; strengthen interaction between the college and university; and display a commitment to environmental sustainability.
“Innovation Hall gives us an expanded platform to drive innovation and collaboration as we grow the STEM workforce for the Puget Sound region and beyond,” Cornick said. “Highly skilled jobs in STEM industries provide UW Bothell and Cascadia College graduates with career opportunities that can change their lives, their families and our communities.”
About UW Bothell
UW Bothell’s commitment to increasing access to a UW education extends well beyond admissions. It includes the opportunities, resources and services its diverse students need to flourish while in college and after graduation. Access also means offering evening, offsite, online, hybrid and certificate programs that help make it possible for more students to pursue higher education. UW Bothell has been recognized for innovations in academic and extracurricular programming that helps students graduate on time and debt free.
About Cascadia College
Cascadia College is a comprehensive community college that specializes in university transfer education. It is nationally recognized for its high transfer rate and for its emphasis on collaborative and active learning across disciplines. It was established by the legislatur