News Releases

 (Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has secured $2,000,000 in the Fiscal Year 2011 Senate Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill to allow Washington State University (WSU) to clean up contaminated soil located within the building site of the WSU Riverpoint Biomedical and Health Sciences Phase I Building in Spokane. Murray also secured $1,000,000 in this bill to improve the Division Street Corridor, which will help support the revitalization of the expanding University District.

“This investment is one more critical step toward helping Spokane further develop its cutting-edge health care sector that is already creating jobs and attracting private investment,” said Senator Patty Murray. “I have been committed to the WSU Riverpoint campus since I was approached by the community about this more than seven years ago. I have fought to secure the resources WSU needed to make this vision a reality. And I am going to keep fighting to help Spokane maintain its leadership in the health care sector.”

The Riverpoint Campus is part of a larger parcel that was formerly owned by the railroad, and historically had been used for industrial purposes between the early 1900s and the mid 1980’s.  As a result of this past use, soil contaminated with metals and carcinogens came to be present over a large portion of the site. 

Murray also secured $1,000,000 for the City of Spokane to support Division Street Improvements, including the design, purchase and construction of intersection treatments, pedestrian countdown timers, streetscape enhancements, and sidewalk widening.

“This is truly one of the most important steps we can take as a community as a means of announcing our revitalization of our downtown, our adjacent business districts and the ever growing University District. It is building on our past to create our future. This will be a huge step forward,” said Mary Verner, Mayor, City of Spokane.

Over the last three years, Senator Murray has worked to secure over $3.2 million to help the WSU Nursing School relocate to the Spokane Riverpoint Campus, where a new building for the College of Nursing was dedicated in 2009.  

Senator Murray has also fought hard for the transportation and infrastructure upgrades necessary to make this vision a reality - including over $8 million for road and pedestrian improvements.

This new building is integral to the College’s strategic plan, which calls for increasing the number of entry level and advanced practice nurses by improving the delivery of education, especially to rural and underserved areas of the state.  This new building has a greatly expanded amount of classroom space, which will allow the WSU nursing program the room to educate more students and has facilitated the launch of a PhD. program.

As Chair of the THUD Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Murray has fought to secure federal support for Spokane projects that will create jobs and invest in long-term economic growth.   The key spending bill passed through the THUD Subcommittee today, and will now move to the full Appropriations Committee for consideration.