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Whitworth moves U-District center to Riverfront Office Park

August 10, 2010
New location to accommodate university's growth downtown

Whitworth University has moved its downtown center to a larger space nearby to meet rising demand for its programs and to pave the way for future growth. The new site is located in a leased space on the first floor of the Riverfront Office Park Building, at 534 E. Spokane Falls Blvd. Classes will begin at the new location on Aug. 16.

Whitworth opened its first site in the University District last fall in a space on the second floor of the Sirti Building, at 665 N. Riverpoint. The U-District, located just east of the downtown core, includes Sirti, which is a state economic-development-related agency, as well as Gonzaga University, branch campuses of Washington State University and Eastern Washington University, and the district offices of Community Colleges of Spokane. Sirti operates on an incubator model, in which it provides tenants with a temporary space to grow their businesses until they are ready to move to a more permanent facility.

"Sirti's support provided us with the space to try our distinctive education delivery for working adults in the downtown area prior to committing to a long-term facility," says Cheryl Vawter, director of administrative services in graduate and continuing studies at Whitworth. "The response we've received from offering our evening degree programs downtown has been tremendously positive, and it's important for us to stay close to the U-District community."

Vawter says the space in the Riverfront Office Park building provides easy access for students coming from the freeway as well free parking and a direct commute from the downtown core.

"We're thrilled to find a facility right across the street from the Riverpoint Campus and so well-suited for our evening class needs," she says.

At its U-District site, Whitworth offers several bachelor-degree programs geared toward non-traditional students who want to attend classes at night. All courses needed to complete the degrees are offered in the university's popular six-week, accelerated format.

Whitworth's downtown office provides all of the services that students need to attend classes, including advising and books (which are included in tuition). The office has two advisors, a receptionist, and faculty on days that classes are scheduled. Regular office hours are 3:30-6 p.m., Mon.-Thurs., with other times by appointment.

Whitworth will continue to research market data to determine which additional programs would serve the community best at its downtown location.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of roughly 2,900 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Cheryl Vawter, director, administrative services and graduate and continuing studies, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4518 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or