Plans call for significant growth at UW’s Seattle campus

Oct 26, 2016, 6:43 AM
University of Washington, Seattle campus...
Expect major growth on the University of Washington campus over the next decade. (University of Washington)
(University of Washington)

The University of Washington’s Seattle campus is growing up.

A campus master plan shows the university could expand up to 6 million square feet over the next decade to support the increasing population.

The master plan identifies 85 potential development sites, spread throughout the four areas of of the 639-acre campus. However, UW senior planner Theresa Doherty tells The Seattle Times that there are no plans to purchase more land. That means the campus will grow up, not out.

Related: University of Washington gets $210M from Gates Foundation

And that makes sense when combined with the potential upzoning of the University District that would allow for significantly taller buildings and more density.

The campus could very well need that additional space if projected enrollment becomes a reality. Student population is expected to be an estimated 52,399 by 2028. That’s 20 percent growth over the 43,724 students enrolled in 2014. Staff and faculty are expected to grow along with the student body. Total population is expected to grow by 13,324 by 2028.

In 2014, the university recorded roughly 18 million square feet of space on its Seattle campus. Ninety-eight percent of the space is owned by the university, while the remaining 2 percent (about 364,000 square feet) is leased.

Under the master plan, which in no way is finalized, the areas of campus would grow as follows:

•Central Campus: 900,000 square feet
•West Campus: 3 million square feet
•South Campus: 1.35 million square feet
•East Campus: 750,000 square feet

What are they building?

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Plans call for significant growth at UW’s Seattle campus