Northwest NEWS

October 25, 1999

Front Page

Cascadia/UW construction remains on schedule

UW Bothell

The new UW-Bothell building has a brick exterior and glass-enclosed stairways on both ends. Construction on the combined UW/CCC campus is on target for Fall 2000 classes.
Staff photo by Marshall Haley.

by Marshall Haley, staff reporter

   BOTHELL--Exterior work on the main buildings is nearing completion at the UW-Bothell and Cascadia Community College shared campus. State project manager Mike Maher said he expects interior finishing to begin around the first of the year.

   Cement trucks moved through the site in a steady stream last Wednesday, Oct. 20, as workers poured foundations for the multi-level parking lots on the north and south ends of campus. Maher said he sees no reason the campus won't be ready to welcome 3,000 students next September, as planned.

   "This is cement pouring day," said Maher. "The unusually dry weather is cooperating." The cold night temperatures are not a problem for cement curing, unless it gets below 30 degrees, since the chemical process of cement curing creates its own heat, he said. The main concern would be too much moisture from rainfall.

   The superstructure for the three main buildings--Cascadia's first classroom building on the north, the first UW building on the south, and the shared library in between--should be done by December, said Maher. Masons have pretty well finished brickwork on the UW building and are about halfway done with Cascadia's brick facade. The buildings have three stories, and the UW building has glass-enclosed stairways on both ends.

   The campus' north-south, oblong circular road will mainly be for UW personnel to access their south end parking garage, via the upper roadway west of the buildings. Cascadia students will use the north garage located on the east side of the lower roadway, closest to their building. South of the north-end garage, the lower roadway will be strictly for mass transit traffic, with several bus stops and a layover and turnaround area at the southeast end of campus.

   The current construction marks Phase I of the project, for next fall's occupancy, said Maher. Phase II will include a second UW building right in back (west side) of the first and a library/cafeteria/bookstore addition, with two stories forming a bridge over the lower roadway and three to four floors in the main part of the building, east of the roadway. Construction on those buildings will begin early next year. They are scheduled to open by Fall quarter of 2001.

   Any future expansion for Cascadia would occur northwest of the first building. A mall spanning the west side of the initial buildings will be the main pedestrian corridor. Several acres of wooded and landscaped property between there and the upper roadway will contain pathways and open spaces for leisure use.

   "We have preserved as much of the landscape as possible," said Maher. "We had to remove some of the big firs we planned to keep, in order to prevent root mold spreading to other trees, but we will be planting trees and shrubs in all areas where construction required removal of natural shrubbery."

   That will include heavy planting in a 50-foot buffer zone where the southwest corner of the campus abuts several homes. The five-level garages allow more landscape preservation than would a sprawling parking lot, he said. Placing the garages on the north and south fringes of the campus will allow a more pedestrian-friendly center of campus.

   The project accommodates the natural landscape, with the buildings structured to form a gentle curve-out toward the east, following the contour of the hillside, said Maher. The 60-acre wetland area between campus and I-405 will be restored to its natural state and become a nature preserve. The state will restore the stream's original meandering path that was straightened decades ago to create more cow pasture.

   Snohomish County's Regional Trail will pass through the nature preserve, forming a link from Beardsley Boulevard to King County's Burke-Gilman Trail. The trail will eventually run under SR-522, through a tunnel or some other means, said Maher. The old Chase House, family home of Bothell's first doctor, will be remodeled and used as a visitor center and wetlands interpretive center.

   Although initial access will be from Beardsley Boulevard, the combined State-Bothell Master Plan calls for a cloverleaf interchange at the south end of campus that will accommodate access to and from I-405 and SR-522. That design is underway, but construction depends on future transportation funding.

   To protect the existing wetlands and stream from hillside construction runoff, the state has heavily employed hay bails, silt fencing, hydro-seeding, loose straw, and erosion-control matting. They check for runoff after each heavy rain to prevent muddying the stream, Maher said.