For the first time in more than 100 years the southeast corner of East 11th Avenue and Alder Street on the Northwest Christian University campus will soon look very different.
NCU has filed plans with the city of Eugene to build a $24 million building on the property where the Goodrich Administration Building now stands. No date has been set for work to begin, but it is hoped that the new building will be completed for NCU’s 125th anniversary in 2020.
“It is an exciting time at Northwest Christian University,” said Joseph D. Womack Ed.D., NCU’s president. “With growing enrollment, a new building provides opportunities for students to learn in an environment that matches the excellent Christian liberal arts education delivered by NCU’s faculty every day.”
When most Northwest universities and colleges are experiencing declining enrollment, NCU’s has steadily grown since 2010, from 500 to 868 students. It is consistent enrollment growth that sparked NCU’s Board of Trustees to establish a new master plan for the landlocked campus. Due to its challenging physical condition, replacing the 110-year old Goodrich Administration Building moved to the top of the list in the multi-year plan adopted by the University’s Trustees.
“After exploring several options, it was determined that it would not be financially prudent to retrofit or remodel an aging Goodrich,” said Gene De Young, vice president for finance and administration, who is leading the construction of the project. “With prayerful discernment, the Trustees voted to replace Goodrich with a new building.”
Capped with a bell tower and a cross, the new six-story, 73,000 square foot building will serve as a beacon for the campus and the community. Inside, the building will feature classrooms, faculty and administrative offices, the School of Music and Worship Arts, the Center for Leadership and Ethics, the Center for World Christianity, a shared-purpose chapel and banquet facility and an indoor-outdoor café.
“For alumni, like myself, it will be sad to see Goodrich, our old main, go away,” said Keith Potter ’84 D.D. ’11, vice president for advancement. “As disappointed as we were to learn that Goodrich would be cost prohibitive to renovate, the new building presents the possibility of launching a fresh era of student life enriched by a new old main.”
The announcement that building plans were filed with the city comes on the heels of the University adding three new degree programs; a master of arts degree in leadership, a master of education, and bachelor of arts in Spanish. In addition, NCU recently announced that it has become the first in Oregon, and one of 66 universities nationwide, to offer Esports as a scholarship, varsity sport.
“With wisdom, faith and service as our guide, we continue to attract more students to campus, launch academic programs to meet the region’s workforce needs and soon we will add a state-of-the art learning center that strengthens an already vibrant university experience,” Womack said. “NCU is on the move.”