If you’ve walked past Parrington Hall recently, you might be wondering why you don’t hear the sweet sound of demo and construction quite yet. Here’s why:
In November 2018, when our design-build partners sought to submit our initial permits to the city, the city responded with a significant (and unexpected) requirement to substantially increase our investment in the seismic and energy infrastructure for Parrington Hall. This required us to revisit the project scope, design, and funding plan in order to reconcile the city’s new requirements and the above-and-beyond expenses those requirements would add to the project.
Over the following six months, our architects, construction firm, and the UW engaged in numerous back-and-forth iterations with the city permitting office to find a compromise that would both 1) achieve our programmatic needs for the future, and 2) fit a scope that we could afford.
Simultaneously, working with our colleagues in the UW Treasury office over the course of winter term, the Evans School went about putting together a financial plan that would allow us to borrow funds from the UW (above and beyond the extant $20M raised from private sources ($10M) and the State Legislature ($10M)), should it be necessary to complete the project. In April 2019, the Evans School successfully presented to and received Phase II project approval by the UW Board of Regents, granting us the go-ahead to spend up to $23.8M on this important project.
This permitting process has unfortunately delayed the remodel project by an estimated three months, meaning the revised plan is for the Evans School to return to Parrington Hall in late summer, 2020. While we are disappointed by this delay, we also know that our colleagues on campus and our design-build partners have done everything they can to move our project forward as fast as possible.
So where are we now? We are very close to having a project plan and scope that achieves our program needs and is also within our budget. Within the next two weeks we expect this project plan to be submitted to the city for what we hope is the final time. Once approved, our construction partners will immediately fence off Parrington Hall, set-up their construction trailer, and begin demo. At that point, we will be able to focus our attention on what will be happening inside a new Parrington Hall – How we will make use of flexible spaces, how furniture will help make it a more comfortable place to work and learn, how we can infuse technology and digital solutions throughout the building for maximum impact, and more.
While this permitting process has been challenging, and the timeline has been delayed, I remain so very excited about this project and what it will mean for the future of the Evans School. Our great school has long deserved a learning environment that matches the innovation and the energy of our program. Thank you for your patience through this process – and for sharing in our excitement for all of the ways this project will serve as an investment in our collective future.