Advocates for a new University of Washington branch campus packed an Olympia hearing room Thursday to argue whether an urban Everett location or a more spacious Marysville campus would be the best site to serve the north Puget Sound region.
This choice is easy: Everett, right? The proposed campus would be easier to get to, considering many students take transit. The UW Tacoma location happens to be right on their streetcar line, and it’s a big success.
Backers of a 27-acre Everett site adjacent to the city’s transit center said Everett is closest to population centers, convenient to public transportation and offers a wealth of high-tech employers with whom future students can partner.
There you go, it’s a slam dunk. But the “rural campus” advocates don’t like the Everett choice:
Proponents of a 369-acre site in North Marysville said the more rural location offers a traditional campus setting with room for dormitories, sports fields and future growth. It would also better serve students in Island and Skagit counties, they said.
If a prospective student wants the sleep-away college experience, complete with sports teams and palatial grounds, that choice already exists. It’s called the University of Washington. You know, the original one.
Besides, kids from Island and Skagit counties already have a state school with sports field and dorms. It’s not new, but Western Washington University, located in Bellingham (in Whatcom county, just to the north) has been churning out quality graduates since 1893. (Most of Death Cab for Cutie! Chris Vance! Randy Tate! Joyce Taylor! The Punter For The Atlanta Falcons!)
[…]but while the Everett site has gained some additional support this week, deep divisions remain in the legislature on the issue. More importantly, I believe a number of legislators are beginning to question the wisdom of moving ahead at all on the new campus given the cost projections and what appear to be concerns about how this really fits into the entire higher education system.
Considering just how tough a time Olympia is having providing funding for the UW branches that already exist, one has to wonder: is creating another UW branch in our best interest? Or is it more about legislators bringing home some pork?
[For more info, check out Postman’s run-down.]