Gonzaga kisses COG goodbye

SPOKANE, Wash. - Sunday is graduation day for Gonzaga students, but before students move on they had to say goodbye one last time to the COG.

There are people who don't like change -- and those who embrace it.

"Freshman year, that's where we always ate, and then now that it's gone, it's kind of sad," Gonzaga student Kelly Kim said.

COG farewell

On Wednesday, Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh and school staff sent the COG -- Center of Gonzaga -- on its way with a celebration. Students got to sign their names on beams because the cafeteria will soon be demolished and be replaced with a new $60 million facility.

"I think it will be a lot better for all of the students. It's going to be a lot bigger and hopefully a bigger food choice," Kim said.

The new university center will be Gonzaga's most expensive construction project ever and one of the most pricy in Spokane in the last decade. It'll house the cafeteria, a ballroom, auditorium and even a pub on the second floor.

"We really are building a facility that is going to be much larger, but it's in line with what we need to be doing to support the size that we've grown to," McCulloh said.

The building will also help grow the job market in Spokane.

"We expect the construction will lead to 1,000 local jobs working on the project itself and then around 500 through the region supporting the work. And then of course the building will be staffed," GU Executive Vice President Marty Martin said.

The $60 million facility will be funded entirely by donations. It will take two years to build and be ready for students in the fall of 2015.