Over the past year leadership from Thurston County and the City of Olympia have been working collaboratively on a project to either reconstruct the current Courthouse Complex or build a new Courthouse and Civic Center facility.
The buildings in their current state are at the end of their useful life, costing significant taxpayer dollars to maintain and operate. The current layout and design also makes it difficult for citizens to locate important County resources and services in a timely manner. The success of this project will improve and consolidate services, as well as promote long-term cost savings, improved access, and increased consistencies across County offices and departments.
As financial stewards of citizen tax dollars, Thurston County's elected leaders are committed to meeting the needs of our growing community while promoting economic vitality. With an investment in a new or reconstructed courthouse and civic center, the County can modernize its facilities, consolidate services in a customer first manner, invoke civic pride in our community, and provide opportunities for economic revitalization to the area.
Currently, leadership is exploring the course of action that will achieve the best outcome for the future of Thurston County; to reconstruct and expand the existing campus and buildings, or build a new Courthouse and Civic Center elsewhere within the City Limits of Olympia. The Board of County Commissioners narrowed down three of 12 potential sites that were evaluated over the last year for further analysis through a comprehensive, comparative feasibility study.
These sites include:
- Hill Top Site - Renovation / Expansion of the Courthouse and Civic Center at its' current Lakeridge Drive location
- Plum Street Site - Construction of a new Courthouse and Civic Center on the existing City of Olympia property on Plum Street
- Harrison West Site - Construction of a new Courthouse and Civic Center on the Harrison West property located at Harrison Avenue NW and Kaiser Road SW
The feasibility study’s objective is to research and analyze information about each of the three sites with a focus as to which site would be the most preferred by the Thurston County community. Thomas Architecture Studios, Inc. (TAS), the selected consulting company, will evaluate issues such as customer service, economic development, life cycle costs, environmental sustainability, safety, parking, and transit services.
The County anticipates bringing the completed proposal to the citizens for a vote during the August 2019 election.
Citizen Advisory Committee
A Citizen Advisory Committee has also been created to provide feedback to the Commissioners and advise on aspects of this project as the voice of the citizens. The Committee is comprised of 20 volunteer citizen representatives from across the county. Representation includes a retired superior court judge, small business owners, organization executive directors, attorneys, homemakers, community advocates, and realtors.