University of Washington Tacoma will celebrate breaking ground on the new William W. Philip Hall at a ceremony Tues., Aug. 28 at 11 a.m. The ceremony, to be held on the UW Tacoma campus above the construction site at 1914 Pacific Ave., will honor the assembly hall’s namesake, Bill Philip, and the donor who arranged the naming, James A. Milgard. Philip, Milgard and UW Tacoma Chancellor Patricia Spakes will speak at the event, which is free and open to the public.
Milgard, of Gig Harbor, has pledged $2 million toward the building and requested that it be named William W. Philip Hall in honor of the retired chief executive officer of Columbia Bank. Philip was instrumental in the founding of UW Tacoma.
Scheduled to open in fall of 2008, the 500-seat hall will provide a highly visible entry to UW Tacoma and a venue for world-class public lectures, community events, arts productions, and fairs. In addition, the hall will be home to a student commons designed as the heart of the campus community, where students and faculty can gather for informal study groups and meetings.
In November 2008, UW Tacoma will debut an annual distinguished lecture series at Philip Hall made possible by a gift from Arthur R. Paulsen. Paulsen established the Arthur R. and Anna Mae Paulsen Endowed Visiting Chair in Public Affairs in hopes that future generations of students will be inspired to become creative thinkers and informed citizens.
The general contractor for the building is John Korsmo Construction of Tacoma, and the architect is Thomas Hacker Architects of Portland, Ore. Construction is scheduled to begin in September.
The $12 million building is funded with $7.5 million in public funds from the State of Washington and over $4 million in private gifts. Other donors to the project include the Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation, George and Dion Russell, Larry and Judith Kopp, Columbia Bank, the Ben B. Cheney Foundation, and The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation.