One of the most exciting times of my
whole career as a university president has been the opportunity to say “yes” when the possibility of being a lead tenant in the Catalyst Building came forward.
The Catalyst Building will be an enormous impact on our students by
moving our departments of computer science, electrical engineering, visual
communication and the new program in computer engineering into downtown
Spokane. We’re putting our students and our faculty right next to the businesses
that will be using their expertise. This building is going to be transformative
for Eastern as well as ensuring that we have an increasingly major presence in
this wonderful city. The gift from McKinstry and Avista has
launched this project and fundraising to a new level at Eastern. A move of the
significance that has such a deep public/private partnership is rare, and
it really is the future for higher education and business working together.
Eastern and McKinstry have worked together for over 20 years on energy
resourcing and energy management, so when they introduced the concept of a net-zero building, as you can imagine, we were very intrigued. It’s going to be a great,
high tech building that’s going to have a really small carbon footprint and
that’s very exciting. I can’t say enough about the impact of the Catalyst on
Eastern Washington University and on mr. Washington.