Northwest NEWS

April 9, 2001

School

Budget dollars go to UW Bothell, Cascadia

The University of Washington's Bothell branch and Cascadia Community College were big winners in the Senate's capital budget, which passed the chamber unanimously recently.
   Looking to the future health of their respective institutions, the UW Bothell and Cascadia are pooling their resources for a combined $5 million to improve vehicular access to their co-located campus. Currently only one road serves the growing campus, and indirect access from the south slows students and visitors traveling from that direction.
   Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell, whose 1st Legislative District includes the two institutions, was pleased that funds for the South Campus Access project were listed in the Senate's budget.
   "UW Bothell and Cascadia are vital links to our region's ability to provide quality higher education, and their importance will continue to grow with the surrounding population," she said. "Supporting their ability to serve students well into the future will benefit our community and the entire state."
   The $5 million will pay for engineering, design, permitting and preliminary site preparation for an off ramp from state Route 522. Construction of the ramp, which will improve campus access and reduce university-related congestion in downtown Bothell, is expected to begin in 2003.
   UW Bothell Chancellor Warren Buck also praised the Senate's commitment to the campus.
   "We are very pleased with the Senate's budget request for our South Campus Access project," he said. "Without it, we simply will not be able to expand beyond our current capacity of 3,000 full-time students at both UW Bothell and Cascadia Community College. At UW Bothell alone, our annual growth rate is in the double-digit percentile and we have a 97 percent student retention rate. We simply can't continue to support that kind of growth without better access to the campus."
   Senate Democrats budgeted $278 million statewide for new community and technical construction in their capital budget, which now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.