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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Tech college to build near Marymoor

Seattle Times Eastside bureau

Lake Washington Technical College plans to build a $7 million state-of-the-art facility on its satellite campus adjacent to Marymoor Park.

The Redmond City Council is expected to approve zoning changes tonight that would allow the construction.

The Kirkland-based college plans to tear down a former missile-repair building it owns on the 2-acre site. In the past, college students have used the aging building to learn about car repair, furniture re-upholstery and the building trade.

But the building, at Northeast 65th Street and 176th Avenue Northeast, is not suitable for regular classes and is not worth upgrading, said college President Mike Metke. It will close May 15.

Metke said the new building would help bring the college closer to its many Redmond students. "I am sure that within days of opening, it will be completely filled," Metke said.

Admissions have been rising at the technical college, which serves 8,500 students. Construction is already under way on a $17 million technology tower at the Kirkland campus.

The new two-level, 21,000-square-foot building in Redmond will have five classrooms, a small auditorium, a library, a food bar and office space, said Chuck McWilliams, the college's vice president of administrative services. Construction would start this summer and take a year.

The building would house about 80 students and be built in part from materials recycled from the missile facility, McWilliams said. It would feature the latest in "wired" technology.

Trails and other improvements would increase links to Marymoor.

The repair building was built during the Cold War as part of the Nike Ajax missile-defense system and was later sold to the college. McWilliams said the college hopes to expand the Redmond campus further by eventually adding another three- or four-level building that would attach to the first new structure.

Nick Perry: 206-515-5639 or nperry@seattletimes.com

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