WSU Tri-Cities

Wine Science Center Development Authority

February 10, 2014

Building permit issued for Wine Science Center

Tri-City Herald

Richland issued a building permit for a $11.8 million center that industry officials hope will help further expand the state’s growing wine industry.

Officials held a ground breaking for the facility this fall at the corner of George Washington Way and University Drive near Washington State University Tri-Cities.

Work began last year on preparing the ground and forming the foundation for the nearly 40,000-square-foot building. Read more »


February 5, 2014

Greenhouse for WSC to honor “Bud” Mercer, Jr.

RICHLAND, Wash. — Patsy J. Mercer, the Mercer Family and Mercer Canyons Inc. today announced a combined donation of $250,000 toward the Wine Science Center under construction at Washington State University Tri-Cities in Richland.

The family’s gift will establish the “Bud” Mercer Greenhouse, in memory of Milton “Bud” Mercer, Jr. for his pioneering role in Washington agriculture. The gift was announced today at the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers Conference held at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick.

“Bud was a great leader, businessman, husband and family man,” said Patsy Mercer, his wife. “He invested his time, effort and resources to support people, ideas and opportunities he believed would make a difference to the industry and to our community.

“The Wine Science Center will play a vital role in the Pacific Northwest as a center for research and education,” she added. “It is a fitting tribute to honor Bud’s memory by ensuring that the facility has a research greenhouse to support the needs of the Washington wine industry.”

Prior to his passing in 2010, Bud and his wife, Patsy, lived in Prosser and in the Horse Heaven Hills, where he became a leader in the farming business over the course of his life. In 1959, the family founded Mercer Ranches, Inc., which now operates as Mercer Canyons under son Rob Mercer’s leadership. Rob and Bud, together with Mike Hogue and Ron Harle, founded Mercer Estates Winery. Bud also was instrumental in the creation of the Walter Clore Wine & Culinary Center in Prosser.

The research greenhouse, proposed to be named in Bud’s memory, will service Washington State University’s Viticulture & Enology program, based at WSU Tri-Cities. The greenhouse will include two 18-foot by 22-foot greenhouses attached to a headhouse located adjacent to the Wine Science Center.

Construction started in fall 2013 on the Wine Science Center, a 39,300-square-foot, LEED Silver facility in the heart of Washington wine country. The $23 million facility now is about 15 percent complete. When it opens in early 2015, it will be the most technologically advanced wine research and education center in the world. Designed to attract world-class researchers and students, its research and educational efforts will focus on the challenges and opportunities faced by Pacific Northwest grape growers and winemakers. More details on the project and its unique partnerships are at tricity.wsu.edu/wsc.

WSU has been involved in wine-related research since the 1930s, and is the only university in the Pacific Northwest offering bachelor’s and graduate degrees in viticulture and enology, plus a wine business management program and a distance education program to earn a professional certificate. Henick-Kling joined WSU in 2009 as director of the Viticulture and Enology program, which has more than 30 faculty members in the Tri-Cities, Prosser, and Pullman. wine.wsu.edu


Sept. 26, 2013

Governor lauds partnership, looks to economic
growth as construction starts on Wine Science Center

RICHLAND, Wash. — The Cougar flags blowing majestically in the breeze were ideal for the site of the Wine Science Center at Washington State University Tri-Cities, noted Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

“Red and white are the colors of the best wine we make in Washington state,” he quipped to the audience of 200 community, university and grape and wine industry attendees at this morning’s groundbreaking ceremony in Richland.

“We believe in wine and we believe in science. We are marrying those two things today,” Inslee said. “The Wine Science Center symbolizes the power of partnerships.”

A creative collaboration with the Port of Benton, which owns the land, and the City of Richland, which provides administrative support, resulted in formation of the Wine Science Center Development Authority.


See more photos from the groundbreaking ceremony

Construction is to start immediately on the 39,300-square-foot, LEED silver facility at the corner of George Washington Way and University Drive. Employing up to 75 construction workers, the building is expected to be complete in early 2015.

The conceptual design by Lydig Construction Inc. and ALSC Architects, both of Spokane, includes a research and teaching winery, state-of-the-art research laboratories, classrooms, conference rooms and a 3,500-bottle wine library. A dramatic central lobby will provide views of the research winery floor and outdoors toward the Columbia River and the WSU Tri-Cities campus.

The $23 million project is designed to attract world-class researchers and students who will focus their efforts on the challenges and opportunities faced by Pacific Northwest grape growers and winemakers. More details on the project and its unique partnerships are at tricity.wsu.edu/wsc.

Steve Warner, president of the Washington State Wine Commission, explained how the grape and wine industry has experienced explosive growth since it started 30 years ago. Now with nearly 800 licensed wineries and an economic impact of $8.6 billion, Washington wines consistently outperform wines from other regions of the world, he said.

“If we’re this good in 30 years, how great can we be in the future?” Warner said. “The Wine Science Center will take us to new heights.”

New donors to the Wine Science Center were announced today by Ted Baseler, a WSU regent, chair of the WSU Campaign for Wine and president and CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. They include:

  • Chris and Amy Figgins, Leonetti/Figgins Family Wines, $50,000
  • Rick and Darcy Small, Woodward Canyon, $25,000
  • Dave and Deb Hansen, Cougar Crest, $25,000
  • Greg and Stacy Lill, DeLille Cellars, $10,000

Fundraising efforts for the Wine Science Center are in the final stretch, with $2 million needed to complete construction and $2 million needed to fully equip the building. A total of $19 million has been raised since the campaign started about three years ago.

WSU has been involved in wine-related research since the 1930s and is the only university in the Pacific Northwest offering bachelor’s and graduate degrees in viticulture and enology, plus a wine business management program and a distance education program to earn professional certificates.

Thomas Henick-Kling joined WSU in 2009 as director of the viticulture and enology program (V&E), which has about 33 faculty members in the Tri-Cities, Prosser and Pullman — nearly the same size faculty as at the University of California Davis.

“This is much-needed space for researchers and students,” Henick-Kling said, noting that the V&E program enrolls about 50 undergraduate, 29 graduate and 120 certificate program students. “The Wine Science Center will allow us to expand our research capacity to address the challenges and opportunities for industry growth.”


Lydig-ALSC from Spokane selected to design Wine Science Center

Sept. 6, 2013

Governor, industry leaders break ground Sept. 26 for Wine Science Center at WSU Tri-Cities

RICHLAND, Wash. — Washington Governor Jay Inslee will join wine and grape industry leaders, economic development and government partners, generous donors, community supporters, and Washington State University officials at 10 a.m. Sept. 26 to break ground on the Wine Science Center at WSU Tri-Cities.

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place at the corner of George Washington Way and University Drive, at the entrance to the WSU Tri-Cities campus in Richland.

The research and teaching conducted inside the Wine Science Center will be specific to the challenges and opportunities faced by grape-growers and wine makers in Washington state, and is projected to help triple the economic impact of this $8.6 billion industry to reach more than $20 billion by 2020.

“Having this research facility is critical to the continued growth of our Pacific Northwest wine industry,” said Ted Baseler, President and CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, a WSU Regent and chair of the WSU Campaign for Wine. The Wine Science Center Development Authority selected Lydig Construction Inc. and ALSC Architects of Spokane to design and build the project. The $23 million building will have approximately 39,300 gross square feet and is being designed to LEED Silver standards.

The conceptual design includes a research and teaching winery, state-of-the-art research laboratories, classrooms, conference rooms, and a regional and international wine library. A dramatic central lobby will provide views of the research winery floor and outdoors toward the Columbia River and the WSU Tri-Cities campus.

Construction is expected to be complete in early 2015.

“Research will ensure that we produce the best wine grapes. Research will then help us make great wines with distinct flavors that become sought after internationally,” Baseler said. “This facility and the teaching program at WSU will produce a workforce pipeline of trained WSU graduates — for our vineyards, for our wineries — and all the allied industries that work with us.“

The Wine Science Center Development Authority is a unique partnership managed by the City of Richland. The land is donated by the Port of Benton. The fund-raising and financing is led by Washington State University. FLAD Architects and Meier Engineering serve as the program architect, and Hill International is the project management firm.

For more details, including a video about the value of the Wine Science Center, visit wine.wsu.edu/campaign/

WSU has been involved in wine-related research since the 1930s and is the only university in the Pacific Northwest offering bachelor’s degrees in Viticulture and Enology and in Wine Business Management — plus graduate studies in all areas of Viticulture and Enology, and a two-year distance education program to earn a professional certificate. Thomas Henick-Kling joined WSU in 2009 as director of the Viticulture and Enology program, which has more than 30 faculty members in the Tri-Cities, Prosser, and Pullman.


May 2, 2013

Spokane team chosen to design and build
Wine Science Center at WSU Tri-Cities

RICHLAND, Wash. — The Wine Science Center Development Authority has selected Lydig Construction Inc. and ALSC Architects of Spokane to design and construct a $23 million research and teaching facility at Washington State University Tri-Cities in Richland.

“The design-build team of Lydig Construction and ALSC Architects had the overall highest score in all categories during the procurement process,” said Rob McKinney, chair of the Wine Science Center Development Authority.

“Lydig and ALSC conceptualized the Wine Science Center as an iconic structure that will attract world-class researchers and future students to the wine industry in Washington state, plus provide a great visitor experience within the facility,” McKinney said. “The Lydig and ALSC team has a proven and excellent reputation of successfully delivering design-build projects and we look forward to working with them on this exciting project.”

The Wine Science Center will have approximately 39,300 gross square feet and is being designed to LEED Silver standards. The conceptual design by Lydig and ALSC includes a research and teaching winery, state-of-the-art research laboratories, classrooms, conference rooms, and a regional and international wine library. A dramatic central lobby will provide views of the research winery floor and outdoors toward the Columbia River and the WSU Tri-Cities campus. The glass lobby also opens to exterior landscaped plazas on each side of the building.

McKinney added that the complex elements of the Wine Science Center design will set the standard for future facilities at WSU Tri-Cities. As a landmark at the corner of George Washington Way and University Drive in Richland, the building will be the gateway to the Tri-Cities Research District.

The research and teaching conducted in the Wine Science Center will be specific to the challenges and opportunities faced by grape-growers and wine-makers in the Pacific Northwest. Washington state’s grape and wine industry aims to triple its annual economic impact from $8.6 billion to $25.8 billion by 2020.

The Wine Science Center Development Authority is a unique partnership managed by the City of Richland. The land is donated by the Port of Benton. The fund-raising and financing is led by Washington State University. FLAD Architects and Meier Engineering serve as the program architect, and Hill International is the project management firm.

More than $18 million has been pledged in the past two years for the Wine Science Center project, including contributions from the Washington State Wine Commission for $7.4 million through industry assessments, the state of Washington’s $5 million Legislative grant toward construction, a U.S. Economic Development Administration grant of $2.06 million for equipment, numerous corporate and private commitments, plus in-kind donations of equipment and professional services.

The Wine Campaign is in the final stages of fund-raising to complete construction and to fully equip the facility. For more details, including a video about the value of the Wine Science Center, visit wine.wsu.edu/campaign/.

With the selection of Lydig and ALSC, work is to begin immediately to convert the conceptual look into design documents. Construction is expected to start this fall, with the building completed in late 2014. Lydig has an office in Kennewick and, also in partnership with ALSC, designed and built the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick.

WSU has been involved in wine-related research since the 1930s, and is the only university in the Pacific Northwest offering bachelor’s and graduate degrees in viticulture and enology, a wine business management program plus a distance education program to earn a professional certificate. Thomas Henick-Kling joined WSU in 2009 as director of the Viticulture and Enology Program, which has more than 30 faculty members in the Tri-Cities, Prosser, and Pullman.

Find more details on the WSCDA at www.ci.richland.wa.us/winesciencecenter.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Gary Ballew, Wine Science Center Development Authority, City of Richland, Economic Development Manager, 509-942-7763, cell 509-554-1260, gballew@ci.richland.wa.us

About WSU Tri-Cities

Washington State University Tri-Cities is located along the scenic Columbia River in Richland, Wash. Established in 1989 with upper division and graduate programs, WSU Tri-Cities expanded in 2007 to a full four-year undergraduate campus offering 18 bachelor’s, 10 master’s, and six doctoral degree programs. Learn about the most diverse campus in the WSU system at tricity.wsu.edu or call 509-372-7250. For details about WSU’s Viticulture and Enology Program visit wine.wsu.edu.

About Lydig Construction, Inc.

Incorporated in 1956, Lydig Construction, Inc. is built on the tradition of fairness, excellence in craftsmanship and pride of a loyal and professional staff. Lydig has constructed and administered a wide range of projects from educational, retail, medical, detention, office, mission critical, hospitality, industrial and distribution facilities to smaller historical renovation, tenant improvement, capital improvement and seismic upgrade work. Lydig employs more than 140 full-time office and field employees, with a total workforce (including field and trades people) fluctuating between 175 and 225 people, depending upon the current workload. With headquarters in Spokane, Lydig has offices in Bellevue and the Tri-Cities. For more information, visit www.lydig.com or call 509-543-0451.

About ALSC Architects

With offices in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene, ALSC Architects is one of the region’s leading architectural firms. The company provides professional planning and design services for projects ranging from education to retail, and military to sports and recreation. Founded in 1948, ALSC Architects employs 40 professionals. More information about the company is available at www.alscarchitects.com or call 509-838-8568.




Video produced by PixelSoft Films of Kennewick, Wash., January 2013.

To share this video, use http://vimeo.com/57889555
To share this page, use http://www.tricity.wsu.edu/wsc/

Advancement & Regional Development, 2710 Crimson Way, Washington State University Tri-Cities, Richland WA 99354-1671
509-372-7264, Contact Us