UW Tacoma set to turn warehouses into classrooms

Rain couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of those in attendance yesterday at the University of Washington Tacoma campus to celebrate the start of a new renovation project. The UW Tacoma will bring another group of 19th-century warehouses to life over the next year, transforming them into modern university classrooms and retail space while preserving their historic character.
Warehouses slated for renovation and adaptive re-use in Phase 2B include three buildings along Pacific Avenue. The three connected warehouses will become one large, interconnected building with classrooms and offices for faculty. Named the Cherry-Parkes Building after the manufacturers of the unique, decorative ironworks that highlight the building’s exterior, the new construction will also offer some special features, like special “project rooms” that include computers, filing cabinets and meeting space. These project rooms will be ideal for small groups of students who need dedicated space for several weeks while they pursue intensive, highly complex projects. The Master of Nursing Leadership program is among those slated to use these spaces.
Cherry-Parkes will also feature interview observation rooms, where teachers, social workers, psychologists and nurses can practice techniques for interviewing or for therapy while being observed on a television screen back in the classroom. The building will continue to host leased retail space along Pacific Avenue, as does the warehouse with artists’ lofts, which connects to the Cherry-Parkes South wall, and the Harmon Building.
Behind the Harmon and Cherry-Parkes buildings is the Lindstrom-Berg Cabinetworks and the Mattress Factory, two connected buildings with a triangular footprint that border 21st and C streets. This complex will house several student services, such as Career Services and the Counseling Center, to be re-located from the main academic building where they have outgrown their existing space.
The Media office, including several staff and hundreds of pieces of media equipment, will move into these buildings from its location in the Library. In addition to providing offices for staff and space for student services, the building will feature UW Tacoma’s first fully serviceable receiving dock.
Construction is set to begin August 1.