Construction crews appear to be on track to allow Antioch University Seattle to move at the end of the year. The University, with 800 students and 50 faculty members, will relocate from its current location on the corner of 6th Avenue and Battery to 3rd and Battery.
“I think change is positive. Change inspires innovation,” said student Tiara Turner, who’s originally from a small fishing village in Alaska. “It’s been such an experience…coming from a small village of 2500 to a city that’s just exploding.”
Public records show Antioch sold its current property for $26.5 million. Plans from developer HB Management show a proposal to build two 41-story buildings with 34 stories of apartments on a six story podium as well as retail at ground-level.
“The building provides us with a bit of a foundation in terms of finances to be able to reinvest in our students to give them state of the art facilities and a brand new space,” Antioch University Seattle President Dan Hocoy said. “Gone are the days of the chalkboard and the rows of desks.”
Antioch University Seattle will invest $9 million in its new home where it signed a 15 year lease, allowing for new technology as well as new programs. There will be a bachelor’s degree in health psychology and counseling starting this fall as well as other programs like dance therapy starting next spring.
“You feel sharper,” said Dr. Michelle Finley, a Core Faculty Member in Couple and Family Therapy. “It’s interesting how new space will put a little spring in your step…add to your confidence.”
This project is one of more than half a dozen in the Denny Triangle, within sight of Amazon’s new campus down the street. Hocoy said it was important for Antioch to stay in the downtown core.
“Our students really get a sense of what’s happening…both in terms of the tech boom but also some of the unintended consequences of the tech boom,” he said.
Here, students will playing a role in students providing services at local homeless encampments as well as mental health services.
The building itself is fairly low profile considering the massive towers that have reshaped this part of Seattle.
“We didn’t want to be a 42-story building. We like the idea of being close to the ground,” Hocoy said. “This is a brand new build that will only be three stories high, which is quite remarkable for downtown Seattle.”
The move is scheduled to start in December with classes beginning in January 2017.
“It’s going to be the rainy season so we’re planning for maybe having a conveyor belt of people with umbrellas,” Hocoy said as he laughed.