On Thursday, the UW Board of Regents approved the hiring of Seattle’s LMN Architects to carry out pre-design for a new facility for UW CSE – a second building to complement the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering (which LMN also designed) and accommodate growth.
We’re firmly committed to responding to the ever-increasing demand for computer science education by students and by employers. This is the first step in a process to develop the physical capacity that will enable us to address many of the challenges we face in growing and evolving UW CSE.
UW has made this building its top capital project priority. The governor’s proposed budget includes $40M for the project. And, although private fundraising has not yet commenced (we anticipate the total cost will be roughly $100M), we received our first major gift at the end of the year.
We recently held a set of focus group sessions with CEOs and CTOs of leading employers in the region – Jeremy Jaech (SNUPI) and Brad Smith (Microsoft) were the convenors. We received extremely useful guidance from these sessions. The “high order bits” were that we need to grow (because computer science is of ever-increasing importance, and because public universities have a responsibility to the students and companies of their region), and we need to maintain the quality of our graduates (many CEOs and CTOs who participated in the focus groups said something along the lines of “When I hire a UW CSE graduate, I know I’m getting someone outstanding; maintaining this needs to be a top priority”).
We’re excited about the opportunities that lie ahead!