TOPPENISH, Wash.--Last July was a rough time for
Heritage University in Toppenish after they lost the original campus building in
a bad fire.
"It was 105 degrees in the valley that day and
those firemen were heroes, I tell you," said John Bassett, the President of
Heritage University. "Because they kept the fire from expanding beyond that one
building. If it had caught fire on other buildings, we would have been in real
On Monday, it will be exactly one year since
Heritage University in Toppenish lost its oldest building in a big fire. Petrie
Hall held classrooms, the cafeteria, bookstore, and all the technical
"As sad as it was, it brought the campus together
and it was wonderful how the technology people, the physical plant people, the
leadership ground in the university kind of came together on rebuilding," said
The university president said they're getting close
to finalizing reconstruction plans, which will include three new buildings. One
for classrooms, one for the dining area and one for IT facilities.
Bassett said rebuilding gives them an opportunity
to model the new structures after students needs and put them in a more
accessible location. The designs are there. Now all that's needed is the
"We go about finding the people that care about
Heritage University and the future," said Bassett.
The president said the community has been very
generous in the past and as soon as the funding is in place, construction could
start in the fall.
Bassett said the three new buildings will cost
around $9 million. Once they receive their settlement from the insurance
company, the school will know how much more they need to raise.