Spokane Journal of Business

Schweitzer Engineering to construct new events center

Project at Pullman HQ slated to be completed by early summer 2021

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Pullman-based Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc. plans to build a new, roughly 80,000-square-foot event center, nearly four times the size of its existing event center, on the southeastern portion of its Pullman campus.

The 37-year-old company, which designs and builds products and systems to protect electrical grids, has been operating its current 17,000-square-foot event center, located at 1825 Schweitzer Drive, north of the Washington State University campus, since 2007, and has outgrown the space, says SEL spokeswoman Kate Wilhite.

The expanded space will accommodate the growing company’s annual event and numerous other events, including training, division meetings, and the weekly Friday lunches, Wilhite says. The company’s use of the current facility limits the number of external rentals it can accept, she says.

She says the company wanted to make a venue that’s more available to the community, which led to the decision to build a new event center with more rentable space for community members.

Spokane-based Bernardo|Wills Architects PC is designing the building, and SEL will oversee the construction, she says.

Because the center is still in the early design stage, Wilhite declines to disclose a construction cost estimate.

Currently, the center is expected to have a variety of meeting spaces and a large meeting hall.

Stephanie Schweitzer, vice president of marketing and communications, says in a press release, “This center will allow us to better accommodate a number of our company’s larger annual events, host new events, and provide another venue option for our community.”

The design and permitting process is expected to wrap up this fall, with construction on the building to begin in late 2019. It will be completed in late spring or early summer of 2021, Wilhite says.

The center will be built on a vacant portion of the company’s 132-acre Pullman campus, she says.

The company is still determining what it will do with its current event center, Wilhite says.

SEL has more than 5,200 employees around the world, with more than 60 offices in the U.S. and almost 50 offices internationally. SEL owns and operates manufacturing facilities in Pullman, Lewiston, and Lake Zurich, Illinois. 

Natasha Nellis
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Reporter Natasha Nellis joined the Journal in May 2018 and covers real estate and construction. Natasha is an avid reader and loves taking photos, traveling, and learning new languages.

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