Opportunities & Trends

AEC & Our Higher Education Community

Spokane Convention Center - Room 402ABC

We would like to thank everyone who attended the Opportunities & Trends event. We sincerely hope that you found it valuable.


As fall approaches, OneAEC is excited to welcome representatives from Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, the Community Colleges of Spokane, Washington State University, and Whitworth University. Join us as our panel shares insight related to:

  • Trends in higher education that may affect how future buildings are designed and constructed.

  • Capital Improvement Plans and associated projects; specifically, major projects occurring in the next 1-5 years.

  • How consultants and contractors can stand out from the competition.

Panel members will include Shawn King (Eastern Washington University), John Sklut (Gonzaga University), Nichole Hanna (Community Colleges of Spokane), Eric Smith (Washington State University), and Chris Eichorst (Whitworth University).

Bret Miche, Graham Construction, will moderate our discussion.

Panel Member Resumes:
  • Nichole Hanna, District Director of Facilities, Community Colleges of Spokane:  Nichole Hanna is the District Director of Facilities for the Community Colleges of Spokane. She leads a staff of nearly 100 facilities professionals that maintain 1.8 million square feet of space in 50 buildings on nearly 300 acres. The District is comprised of two campuses, the Spokane Community College and Spokane Falls Community College, and several satellite locations from Pullman to Republic, Washington. She oversees local and state funded capital construction projects, physical plant operations that include maintenance, grounds, and custodial services and fleet maintenance. Nichole previously served 8 years in the United States Army in various leadership positions as a Logistics Officer, from a Deputy Support Operations Officer to a Commanding Officer of a Forward Support Company. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in History from Pacific Lutheran University.
  • Eric Smith, PE, Director, Facilities and Capital Projects, Chancellor's Office, Washington State University: Eric is responsible for capital projects on the WSU Health Sciences campus in Spokane. He has been with WSU for the last 4-1/2 years, and he and his Team have been actively completing various projects across the campus. Recent projects have included the renovation of the Medicine Building, development of the Center for Native American Health, and ith various smaller projects. Prior to joining WSU, Eric was a municipal engineer in Central Washington and Eastern Oregon working on water systems, recreation improvements, and transportation projects.
  • Shawn King, Associate Vice President for Facilities & Planning, Eastern Washington University: Shawn graduated from Washington State University in 1982 with a Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Construction Management. He also received his Master of Business Administration degree from Eastern Washington University in 1996.  Previous to Eastern, Shawn worked for Siebe/Robertshaw Controls Systems and also was owner operator of his own mechanical contracting business in the Spokane area. As AVP for Facilities and Planning at Eastern, he is responsible for capital planning, capital budgeting and project implementation, campus maintenance and operations, space planning and development as well as Environmental Health and Safety and Facilities support to the University Sustainability office. The Eastern Cheney campus consists of 329 acres of developed and undeveloped property with approx. 3,000,000 of State and auxiliaries’ facilities. Shawn has been with Eastern since 1992, and in this current position since 2003.

  • Chris Eichorst, Assistant VP, Facilities Services, Whitworth University: Chris Eichorst joined the Whitworth University facilities services team in 2012 after retiring as an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel from Fairchild Air Force Base. As the Assistant Vice President of Facilities Services, Chris oversees the daily operations and maintenance of Whitworth’s physical campus and is instrumental in planning for the university’s future needs. He has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University, as well as a commission in the USAF as a member of the Corps of Cadets. During his 22.5-year Air Force career, Eichorst earned his graduate degrees: a Master of Engineering Management from WSU-Spokane and a Master of Science in Systems Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology. In 2022, he earned his Certified Energy Manager (CEM) credential to focus on energy conservation and comply with the ever-evolving energy efficiency and carbon mitigation laws. Now, leading his facilities services team, Eichorst enjoys the challenge of helping to create a more beautiful, maintainable, and cost-efficient campus. Eichorst is married and the father of twin eighteen-year-old boys. His hobbies include cycling, hiking, kayaking and walking his dog. 

More details coming soon!




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