Tuesday, March 20, 2007


State budget could bode well for EWU

It's still early, but the state construction budget presented by the House of Representatives Monday looks good for Eastern. EWU's top priority is to get funding for key capital expenditures as part of a plan to renovate key buildings. See Spokesman Review article below for what's in store for EWU and the region.

Richard Roesler Staff writer March 20, 2007

OLYMPIA _ The state House of Representatives today unveiled a proposed two-year construction budget for the region, brimming with more than $200 million in projects for the Inland Northwest.
Several local projects, including $2 million for continued work on the downtown Fox Theater and $5 million to build a local aerospace museum, were conspicuously absent from the House proposal. But the list unveiled Monday is just one of three budget proposals that lawmakers will massage into a final plan by late April.
“The House wanted to prioritize some of the immediate needs,” particularly in social services, said Rep. Timm Ormsby, D-Spokane, one of the local lawmakers on the committee that prepares the list.
Gov. Chris Gregoire said the list shares many similarities with one she proposed back in December.
“I look forward to seeing the Senate’s proposal and to working with both sides toward a final list of capital projects,” Gregoire said in a statement.
By far the most expensive local item on the list is a new $58 million biotechnology and life sciences building at Washington State University’s campus in Pullman. Eastern Washington University would get nearly $11 million to renovate Hargreaves Hall. Both schools would get tens of millions of dollars more for a variety of smaller remodeling, renovation and preservation work.
Spokane Community College would get more than $6 million in work; Spokane Falls Community College would get more than $8 million.
A sampling of some of the other local projects on the list:
•$7.8 million toward a state veteran’s cemetery west of Spokane.
•$2 million for additional renovation work at Avista Stadium, part of a five-city package aimed at sprucing up the state’s minor-league baseball stadiums.
•$800,000 for a Children’s Universal Park at the City of Spokane Valley’s Mirabeau Point project.
•$470,000 for the Emmanuel Center, with classes and social services for families, youths and senior citizens in Spokane’s southeast neighborhoods.
•$530,000 to help develop the Spokane River whitewater park.
•$1.4 million for the state to buy land on Antoine Peak.
•$1 million for additional construction at the Chewelah Peak Environmental Learning Center.

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