Current capital projects

The University of Washington campus continues to plan and build for the rising student enrollment demands. Learn more about current and upcoming construction projects using the links below: 


19th St Barrier ”W” project 

Identified as a life safety project, the 19th Street Barrier "W" will provide a vehicular barrier of bollards with landscaping to prevent a runaway vehicle from traveling down the UW Tacoma Grand Stairs on South 19th Street. The "W" will serve as vehicular barrier and University branding for the UW Tacoma campus.

Prairie Line Trail

The Prairie Line Trail, commonly known as the UW Tacoma Station, is the linear urban park path formerly used by BNSF Railway that will run through campus from 17th to 21st streets. This newly transformed space uniquely integrates into the existing campus design. This is the first portion of a planned trail for pedestrians and bicyclists that will extend through south downtown, from the Thea Foss Waterway to the Brewery District. It may ultimately stretch from Point Defiance Park and connect to Lakewood, Orting and beyond. The project will improve stormwater management and plant more than 50 new trees. The trail will also include a long-planned memorial sculpture for the Japanese Language School, designed by Northwest artist Gerard Tsutakawa.



University Y Student Center

In partnership with the YMCA of Pierce & Kitsap Counties, the University of Washington Tacoma will construct a new student-funded recreation and fitness facility on campus that will include space for student organization and leadership activities. Where the Longshoremen’s Hall once stood off 17th and Market street will now stand a contemporary designed facility with over 70,000 square feet of space comprising of a full-size gym, weight and cardio equipment, basketball court, indoor track and fitness programs plus dedicated space for student programs, organizations and events. The YMCA will manage the facility and students will have free access to all seven YMCA locations in Pierce and Kitsap counties. 




Urban Solutions Center

The Urban Solutions Center is a renovation of the Tacoma Paper & Stationary Building, a 40,000 square foot, four story historic building located between the existing Science Building and Dougan Building. Built in 1904, this historic building is the last remaining undeveloped warehouse building located along the old Prairie Rail Line railroad spur. The ability of UW Tacoma to provide the capacity necessary to meet its mandate for higher education opportunity in the South Puget Sound Region is directly reliant on this proposal which will provide critical capacity for UWT’s continued need for additional multi-classroom and academic support space to accommodate total projected enrollment of 5,800 FTE students over the next four years.

McDonald-Smith Reconstruction Project

The McDonald-Smith Building project modifies the existing historic building for additional office and meeting spaces to support the continued campus growth. Connection to the Cherry Parkes building will integrate the space into the rest of the Tacoma campus. The renovation of the McDonald-Smith Building will feel like a natural extension of the University of Washington Tacoma campus; honoring the heritage of the Union Depot historic district by breathing new life into an aging building.


IPZ Clean Water Innovation Lab

Thanks to a $2,758,000 Washington State Department of Commerce grant for a new Clean Water Innovation Development and Technology Transfer Laboratory, UW Tacoma and greater campus community will have an advanced collaborative environment with specialized equipment to support commercial development of clean water technologies. This project expand labs in ways that allow private sector scientists and engineers to collaborate with university researchers and government experts on research and development projects, thereby increasing the likelihood that new knowledge and inventions will make their way into new products and services. The result of this process helps increase technology transfer opportunities which is intended to help build companies and creates jobs. Technology transfer is the primary focus of the IPZ program, and a priority area for the University of Washington Tacoma leadership. 


Heritage Study/1910-16 Jefferson Street Complex

Heritage Buildings Predesign Study will conduct a feasibility analysis to develop short and long term options for the highest and best use for the 1910-16 Jefferson Building. Options will consider both practical and fiscal feasibility. The analysis will help provide rough order of magnitude for various options about how to proceed with the development of the space. 

Tioga Building/McDonald-Smith Building Renovation

This design-build project for the Tioga and McDonald Smith Building Renovations will help provide needed instructional and office space. The primary goals of the project is to provide classroom and office space ready for occupancy for the start of Fall Quarter of 2015 and to develop a master plan for executing future projects. The preliminary program elements are expected to include approximately 30 faculty offices, 1 classroom, 1 conference/seminar room, and 2 student breakout/study rooms. 

17th Street Extension and Improvements

In partnership with the City of Tacoma, the University of Washington Tacoma is in the process of straightening South 17th Street with new HMA and concrete paving, adding curb and sidewalk replacements, an updated street light system and improve the underground storm water and water supply systems. The project will also include a new Storm Main extension in Jefferson Ave and South 17th St that is over 12" in diameter.