University of Washington Tacoma officials, students and community members took time out Tuesday to look to the future of their campus.
The gathering, dubbed Foundations of Progress, marked the beginning of part of that future: the renovated Russell T. Joy Building on Pacific Avenue at South 17th Street.
Built as a warehouse in 1892, the building will open this spring with new classroom space and a new Academic Advising Center. The renovation cost $25.3 million.
Included in Tuesday’s event was the official groundbreaking of a $24 million, four-story building that will be connected to the library by sky bridge. The new building will tie into the historic Tioga Building at the top of the grand staircase on Jefferson Avenue.
It will expand the library and add more classrooms.
Preliminary plans for a new walking and biking path on campus as part of the city’s larger Prairie Line Trail were outlined.
An 80-foot-wide swath of property called the Hood Corridor dissects the campus on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway’s old right of way. Twenty feet of the property will be for the trail; the rest will be landscaped.
The final design of the 20-foot-wide trail from South 17th Street to 21st Street is still being developed, UW Tacoma spokesman Mike Wark said. Not yet determined, he said, is whether bicycles and pedestrians will be on separate trails or together on one.
“We also are talking about how to recognize the railway tracks and how much of the track we can retain as part of the trail,” he said.
Part of the trail and the corridor planning is for a memorial on the western edge of campus where the old Japanese Language School once stood. It was demolished several years ago because the building’s wood was contaminated with arsenic and lead.
Mike Archbold: 253-597-8692