Whidbey Institute to expand lodging

The Whidbey Institute gave contractors the thumbs up last week to begin constructing new facilities that would expand its lodging options by 50 percent.

The construction is phase one of a four-year “capacity building campaign” for the Clinton-based educational non-profit’s campus. The $4.5 million campaign is slated to be completed by 2020, and officials say the project will “increase accessibility and better serve a growing and increasingly diverse community.”

The Whidbey Institute invited South Whidbey to attend a ground breaking picnic from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 22 on the organization’s campus, located on 6449 Old Pietila Road in Clinton.

In addition to expanding lodging, the campaign’s goals include completing payment for 30 adjoining acres near the campus to increase conservation efforts, improving youth campus facilities and supporting general operations during the expansion phase.

“Capacity building means creating new spaces to meet existing demands from program leaders who are drawn to the mission of the Whidbey Institute, and it also means meeting our core operating expenses through earned income from these expanded facilities,” Whidbey Institute Executive Director Heather Johnson said. “That means by the year 2020, we’ll be able to direct our fundraising efforts toward scholarship support, new program development, community service and purpose-driven work in perpetuity.”

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