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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, April 8, 2016
Sandra Romero, Thurston County Commission Chair, 360-786-5440
Tom Fitzsimmons, Courthouse Finance Committee Chair, (206) 877-2491

Citizen Committee Reviews Potential County Courthouse Financing Solutions
Feasibility study of renovation of current buildings or construction of new facility

OLYMPIA - A distinguished group, charged with finding funding alternatives for repair or replacement of the aging Thurston County Courthouse, has begun meeting.

Members of the Courthouse Finance Committee include-

  • Tom Fitzsimmons- Committee Chair, former Chief of Staff for Governors Gary Locke and Christine Gregoire
  • Marty Brown- Executive Director of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
  • Patricia McLain- Retired, Former Legislative Building Rehabilitation Project Manager
  • Kevin Foster-Keddie- Executive, Washington State Employees Credit Union
  • Cindy Zehnder- Government Affairs Consultant and former Chief of Staff for Governor Christine Gregoire
  • Wolfgang Opitz- Deputy State Treasurer
  • Diana Benson- Chief Deputy, Thurston County Auditor's Office
  • Shawn Myers- Thurston County Treasurer

County Commission Chair Sandra Romero says the guidance of the committee is welcome, considering how out of date the current county courthouse has become. "We have major challenges with buildings that are nearly 40 years old that were never intended to accommodate today’s technology or security requirements. Estimates are that we would have to spend 5-million dollars or more over the next few years, just to keep up with maintenance of the dilapidated current courthouse. We are lucky to have such a highly qualified committee to study the feasibility of major renovations to the current courthouse or potential construction of a new facility."

Courthouse Finance Committee Chair Tom Fitzsimmons says the group takes the review of possible financial solutions very seriously. "Our mission is to evaluate the work done so far and to develop creative financial options to solve the county's desperate need for functional courthouse space that better serves county citizens. Hopefully we will come up with some solid alternatives for county officials and the citizens to consider. As part of that process we invite the public to follow along and of course, to let us know what they think about this important issue."

The meetings of the committee are open to the public. The group next meets at 5:30 Monday evening, April 18 at the Thurston County Courthouse, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, in Olympia. You can also send an email on the issue to all three County Commissioners at tcbocc@co.thurston.wa.us


County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3