WWU's Rick Benner named to Washington State Board for Architects

The AIA Washington Council has announced that Rick Benner, Western Washington University's director of Capital Planning and Development and the university's architect, has been appointed by Gov. Chris Gregoire to fill a vacancy on the Washington State Board for Architects. Benner is a member of the AIA Washington Council board and the local AIA board in Bellingham.

Benner has a diverse background of public and private sector architectural experience. He was a vital participant in the update of the Architectural Practice Act, enacted into law in 2010. The Washington State Board for Architects is tasked with implementation of the law.

Benner fills critical needs on the licensing board, according to a June 30 press release. He is the only public practitioner on the board; architects in public service have been underrepresented in the past. Also, it has been many years since Northwestern Washington was represented on the board, and a geographical balance helps to inform the board of variances and considerations found while practicing architecture in different regions of Washington.

Benner graduated from the University of Washington in 1978 and worked in several Bellingham architectural firms from 1978 to 1985, when he came to WWU. Benner has been involved with over 600 public works projects valued at over $500 million, in addition to several campus master plans, development of campus standards and guidelines and numerous planning efforts.