UW News

October 1, 2009

UW celebrates re-opening of expanded classroom facilities in downtown Seattle

Last week UW Professional and Continuing Education/Extension celebrated the grand re-opening of its expanded and remodeled classroom facilities at Puget Sound Plaza in downtown Seattle.

The UW Husky Band performed in front of the Puget Sound Plaza building at 4th Avenue & Union Street, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony and an open house. Prior to the official event, the Husky Band toured the streets of the downtown core on a Duck (a land/water craft operated by “Ride the Ducks”) redecorated as the Dawg.

UW has offered courses in the Puget Sound Plaza building, which stands on the property of the original UW campus established in 1861, for more than 20 years. During the day, the downtown classrooms are primarily used by international students in English language programs. In the evenings and on weekends, its primary use is for working adults in certificate programs ranging from accounting to multimedia and from private investigation to social work.

UW Professional & Continuing Education gets top billing on a new sidewalk monument at the entrance to Puget Sound Plaza and UW banners hang from three light poles fronting the building. The UW’s presence is emphasized throughout the interior suites as well. A permanent exhibit of 70 historic UW images includes photos of the original UW campus buildings that stood on the site of today’s Puget Sound Plaza.

“Our new visibility and expanded classroom facilities emphasize the University of Washington’s commitment to a presence in downtown Seattle,” said David Szatmary, UW vice provost for educational outreach. “Many of the professionals we serve with continuing education programs are based downtown, and we want to be where our students are.”

In addition to the classrooms at Puget Sound Plaza, UW Professional and Continuing Education offers programs on UW’s Seattle campus, at its Bellevue classroom facilities, and online.

The expanded and remodeled facilities at Puget Sound Plaza consolidate classroom space formerly held at 1411 Union Street. UW Professional and Continuing Education now holds the 4th floor and much of the 5th floor at Puget Sound Plaza, for a total of 384 seats.

Wireless Internet service is available throughout and instructors have the latest audiovisual and computer equipment furnished for their use. The suites also include four state-of-the-art computer labs. Fitted with the latest equipment for advanced computer courses, these labs can also be converted in minutes for general classroom use, allowing for the greatest flexibility in scheduling to fit student needs.

Supporting UW’s commitment to sustainable practices, construction was done to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) compliance whenever possible.