UW gets another big gift to help expand its computer science program | KUOW News and Information

UW gets another big gift to help expand its computer science program

Oct 6, 2016

A $10 million gift from tech giant Amazon.com will help the University of Washington complete a second building on the Seattle campus dedicated to computer science and engineering.

UW computer science professor Ed Lazowska says the second building is vital to allowing the university's program to grow.

"Computer science is central to everything going on in the world, and students have figured this out. So the enrollment demand is tremendous, the employment demand is tremendous. We're trying to double our enrollment and we have no place to put the students and faculty."

Lazowska says right now the U-W's computer science program has to turn away two out of three students who want to major in the field.

The new building would add larger classroom facilities - including an auditorium dedicated to Amazon - and better lab facilities for students.

The total cost for the structure comes to $110 million. The university has already received about $86 million in public and private money toward that goal.

The state Legislature has put $32.5 million toward the overall cost, and last year Microsoft also ponied up $10 million.

UW officials expect to break ground on the building in early 2017, with an expected completion date in 2019.

The gift coincides with the release of a new master plan for the University of Washington campus that will guide development from 2018 to 2028. It would add 6 million square feet of space. That could be gained by building taller structures in some areas, such as the "west" and "south" campuses near Portage Bay, according to the plan.

Here's more about the master plan and the schedule for public comment.