UW North Campus recommendations sent to OlympiaBY PAM STEVENS | EDITOR Just as promised, on Thursday, Nov. 15 the independent consulting firm of NBBJ sent its recommendations and preliminary timeline for implementations to Olympia regarding the University of Washington North campus that could be built in the near future somewhere in Snohomish County.
Unfortunately, the Lake Stevens site, which they call the Cavalero site, was fourth on the list out of the four.
Topping the list was the Pacific Station site in downtown Everett. NBBJ states that this site “promises the most sustainable campus development strategy in the 21st century and is among the least costly solution for on and off-campus infrastructure improvements.”
Next on the list is the Smokey Point or Marysville site and was ranked second because of its “significant strength in its ability to accommodate long-term growth without having to purchase additional land.
The Riverside site in Everett made it to third on the list even with its “historic floodplain condition requiring significant and costly infrastructure, site and building foundation improvements.
According to the report the Lake Stevens property is the least costly to develop however, it is challenged by environmental conditions, multiple easements and some entitlement issues including wetlands.
After one landowner in the area decided not to include their property with the site, it left an approximately 30 acre hole in the middle of the site, which in turn, makes the property harder to develop and left the site with only 40 non-contiguous, developable acres.
Senator Steve Hobbs hopes the decision will be made according to what is best not just now but for decades to come.
“The report clearly states that we have four viable sites to choose from, it all depends on how you view the process.” he said. “Do you want what works best today, or do we plan for what works for the future of our region?”
Governor Christine Gregoire is most concerned about the students who will be attending the school in the future.
"Our top goal must be to consider what is best for the students,” she said. “I encourage the residents of the region and their leaders to rally behind whichever site is chosen. We must all work together to make sure the campus will help students be successful.”
The legislature will make the final decision during session at the first of the year. Regardless of that decision, the hopes of a University of Washington campus near Lake Stevens is still looking promising.
“Being one of four was a great opportunity for us and we’re happy be part of that competition,” Lake Stevens Mayor Vern Little said. “Now that they have picked one it doesn’t mean it is totally over. We will support the legislature in their decision and go forward.”