WHAT ARE THEY BUILDING?

Former Mars Hill Church in Sammamish closer to becoming a school

Nov 3, 2016, 12:30 PM | Updated: 12:41 pm
Sammamish, campus, CWU...
The former Mars Hill Church in Samammish could become a Central Washington University campus. (AP)
(AP)

It’s looking more likely that Sammamish will get a college campus.

Central Washington University and city leaders are in talks for the school to take over the former Mars Hill Church, which is currently sitting vacant. According to information from a recent Board of Trustees meeting, the campus would be able to accommodate high school students in Running Start classes, as well as programming certificates and more advanced degrees.

Related: Plans call for significant growth at UW’s Seattle campus

“Data indicate a strong immediate interest in flexible extended learning options, including Running State and professional education,” a memo to Central’s Board of Trustees reads.

The University’s president expects to have an update for the city within a couple of weeks, according to the Issaquah-Sammamish Reporter. But, he says they could start offering classes in Sammamish as soon as the fall of 2017.

If the satellite campus is approved, the first two years would be focused on establishing Running Start and certificates/professional learning opportunities. The college would expand programming to include degree completion and full degree offerings at undergraduate and graduate levels.

The Sammamish City Council approved the $6.1 million purchase of the Mars Hill Church in March 2015. The stipulation was that the building be used for higher education, according to the Reporter.

The Mars Hill Church was a megachurch founded by Pastor Mark Driscoll, Leif Moi and Mike Gunn. The Church disbanded Jan. 1, 2015, after multiple allegations of wrongdoing against Driscoll and just prior to a racketeering lawsuit. The suit was ultimately dismissed and Driscoll has since started a new church in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The 22.4-acre property is located at 120 228th Ave. NE. The building features a two-story multi-purpose facility of nearly 31,000 square feet.

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Former Mars Hill Church in Sammamish closer to becoming a school