Construction of Western’s House of Healing longhouse to begin this summer

Construction for Western Washington University’s House of Healing longhouse is set to begin this summer, with an anticipated opening date of summer 2025. 

Bellingham City Council approved a ground lease and amended interlocal agreement at its meeting Monday night, April 8, allowing the university to rent 2 acres at the south end of the Sehome Hill Arboretum, for a rental price of $1 a year. The city is also providing Western with $600,000 in transportation funds for offsite pedestrian and street improvements. 

The House of Healing will be the first longhouse constructed in the City of Bellingham, according to city documents. 

Funding for the project came together more quickly than Western’s Tribal Liaison Laural Ballew expected, she said on Friday, April 5.  

“I’m just so excited …” she said. “I never dreamed that this would happen during my tenure here.”