Major Upgrade for University of Washington’s Inclusive Education Center

By Eric Althoff

SEATTLE—The University of Washington’s famed Haring Center for Inclusive Education, which provides early education for children with developmental disabilities, has been in operation for a half-century, and thus was ready to align its building with a far more modern mission.

A cooperative team headed by representatives of UW and Mithun Architects aims to re-envision the building for the 21st century. Making use of a $30 million donation from the Sunderland family, the renovation aims to upgrade the “existing Haring Center to fully serve the contemporary experimental education unit, research and professional development programs within the College of Education,” according to a proposal released by the school.

Among the renovations, the architects are planning to redo the learning center’s HVAC system and update its roof, which needs to be replaced entirely. The building will be rewired for internet and Wi-Fi access, and its entire electrical system will be brought up to modern specifications as well. Other work to be done at the Haring Center includes reinforcing and/or replacing the building’s foundations, beams and columns.

The project aims to earn LEED Gold certification, as well as to present to the visitor more pleasurable visual stimuli such as water elements and outdoor courtyards. The 30,375-square-foot undertaking is being headed by Mithun; construction is slated to begin later this year and take approximately two years to complete.