SPOKANE, Wash. – Bonds issued today (Dec. 20) by the Washington Higher Education Facilities Authority (WHEFA) will help Gonzaga University finance its cutting-edge new John J. Hemmingson University Center, referred to as “The Hemmingson.”
“The University is very excited about this project,” said Chuck Murphy, Vice President for Finance at Gonzaga. “We have long outgrown the existing 35,000-square-foot COG that was built nearly 60 years ago. We expect the new center will have a transformative impact on our ability to engage students, faculty and staff.”
The $53 million in tax-exempt and taxable bonds issued by WHEFA will join the University’s capital campaign for the project, spearheaded by a $25 million gift from University Trustee John J. Hemmingson that also supports other related University projects.
The Hemmingson will replace student services, including dining, formerly offered in the COG. The COG has served the campus since 1954, when enrollment was less than half its present level.
With 167,000 square feet and four levels, The Hemmingson will house student dining, academic and co-curricular spaces, meeting rooms and a multipurpose ballroom. Multiple student services and centers will reside there, as well as study lounges and workspaces. It will also offer meeting and event space for non-students when not in use by the university.
Construction on the new center began in August 2013. It is expected to open in August 2015.
“We’re proud to be a part of Gonzaga University’s expansion,” said WHEFA Treasurer Tom Johnson of Spokane. “The project is in a great location and will reach beyond the Gonzaga campus. It will be a place where the Spokane community can interface with the University.”
Since 1983, the Washington Higher Education Facilities Authority has helped the state’s private, nonprofit colleges access more than $2.5 billion in tax-exempt financing for projects.
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