The Catalyst

Coming Fall 2020: Spokane’s First Zero Energy Building

Catalyst Building

As a dominant economic driver for the communities we serve, Eastern Washington University is committed to pushing the creative and high-tech vitality of the region forward. Now, to better power local business and industry, Eastern will expand into a state-of-the-art space never before seen in our area: The Catalyst Building.

Located on the south landing of the University District Gateway Bridge in Spokane, the Catalyst will be the core of an internationally significant eco-district, a place where the smart grid meets smart buildings. The city’s first zero energy building, this immersive and applied learning center will inspire leading-edge thinking and project creation from EWU students and faculty.

The Catalyst will bring EWU together with educational and community partners. Interactive environments will give students and faculty the space to work directly with local business and industry experts. These robust public-private partnerships will help solve real world problems.

The Catalyst Building Grand Opening is scheduled for Fall 2020. Exact dates are to be determined.

Rendering: computer lab space inside Catalyst
The Catalyst Vision display with people discussing the project
McKinstry, Avista and EWU representatives pose with the topping out ceremony tree
Rendering: Catalyst entryway
Square Footage


EWU Programs


Net Energy


State-of-the-Art Labs




Changing the Face of Spokane
Eastern, in partnership with McKinstry and Avista, is leading the growth and revitalization of the southward expansion of the University District in Spokane.

Project Website

A New Home
Catalyst will be home to multiple programs within the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), with the possibility of additional EWU programs.

What is a Zero Energy Building?

A zero energy building combines energy efficiency and renewable energy generation to consume only as much energy as can be produced by the building. (Source: U.S. Department of Energy)

More Details

Programs Moving to Catalyst

Computer Science

Our Computer Science Program offers innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Computer Science Info

Electrical Engineering

Our electrical engineering graduates go on to work for business, industry and government employers.

Electrical Engineering Info


Our Design Program offers an undergraduate degree, a minor, and a user experience certificate.

Design Info

Computer Engineering

Coming soon, the Computer Engineering degree will give students experience building hardware.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit our Student Information Page with specific details for EWU students in programs moving to the Catalyst Building.

Support for the Catalyst Building thus far

  • Generous $5 million gift from the McKinstry Charitable Foundation and the Avista Foundation.

Talk with a member of the Eastern Washington University Foundation to learn more at 509.359.7099. | EWU Foundation

The building is owned by South Landing Investors, LLC, an entity formed by long-time McKinstry executives Dean Allen and Bill Teplicky, as well as other minority investors. The land is owned by Avista Development.

Three programs from the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (CSTEM) will be moved from the Cheney campus: Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Design. A new Computer Engineering program will also be located inside the building.

Eastern is exploring the opportunity to relocate its College of Business offerings currently on the Spokane Campus into the Catalyst, which will facilitate more collaboration with business and industry inside the state-of-the-art facility. EWU’s health science offerings—such as dental hygiene, physical therapy, occupational therapy and communication disorders–will remain in the Health Sciences Building on the Spokane Campus.

Eastern is the main tenant. Katerra, which is manufacturing the cross-laminated timber (CLT) used to build the facility, will also be a tenant. There is a possibility for other tenants in the building.

More than 1,000 students are expected to take some of their classes at the building.

Floor plans are still being finalized. Eastern will have a significant presence on every floor of the five-story building, with innovative classroom space, labs, student support resources and lounge space.

Support for the Catalyst Building

This project has been made possible by a generous $5 million dollar gift from the McKinstry Charitable Foundation and the Avista Foundation.


Get Involved

You can give now online or use the form below to make your pledge of support.


Curious about naming opportunities, donations, or other ways to support the project? Let us know! Our team is here to help.

Lisa Poplawski

Senior Associate Vice President of Advancement