The newest physical addition to UW Tacoma’s campus — The Tacoma Paper and Stationery building — opened Sept. 21.
This much-needed space will house three fledgling programs beginning autumn quarter of 2017. TPS, located between the Dougan and Science buildings on Jefferson Avenue (where the Old Spaghetti Factory was located for decades), will provide several classrooms, various labs, a “tinker” space and a large student commons.
Patrick Clark, director of campus planning and real estate, sees the “addition of TPS as creating a major step forward for UW Tacoma students in terms of STEM-based space and creating more student focused areas.”
Clark also explained that UWT’s Urban Studies major will benefit from the opening of TPS.
The building will support three new academic programs: Bachelor of Science in biomedical sciences, Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and Master of Arts in community planning. These programs will be serviced by new biomedical and electrical engineering labs on the second and third floors, along with an urban design studio on the first floor.
Tacoma Paper and Stationery contains UWT’s first Makerspace, also known as a tinker lab, located on the ground floor opening to the Prairie Line Trail. This space is designed to be a hub for student projects, innovation and
technology. The lab will encourage students’ creativity and introduce them to the programs housed in Tacoma Paper and Stationery.
The newly renovated university building was originally built in 1904 by the Tacoma Biscuit and Candy Co. which specialized in various types of candy and crackers. Tacoma Paper and Stationery, a paper and office supply company and the namesake of the current building, operated from 1910-1953. Finally, the familiar Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant moved in during the 1970s and remained until recent renovations began. UWT bought the building in the 1990s with future education spaces in mind, but only recently began renovations.
Clark is particularly excited about the building being updated with sustainability in mind.
“The repurposing of this building is another example of how buildings can be saved, thus creating a sustainable element to the project,” Clark said. “It is being reviewed for LEED-GOLD certification under the U.S. Green Building Council (LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). So this building will be extremely energy and water efficient.”
The opening ceremony highlighted the goal to link the greater community with UWT’s urban campus. A potent example of this goal is the new donor wall, made of salvaged wood from the building, which names donors who have contributed $100,000 or more to UWT. With the new building dedicated to providing space for students to grow, ASUWT President Arwa Dubad said TPS “symbolizes our university’s commitment to student success.”
Tacoma Paper and Stationery stands ready to provide ample space for UW Tacoma’s new academic programs and growing student body.