OLYMPIA – 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 its 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:
- Renovation / Expansion of the Courthouse and Civic Center at its' current Lakeridge Drive location
- Construction of a new Courthouse and Civic Center on the existing City of Olympia property on Plum Street
- 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 will address multiple aspects of each site including costs, phasing, logistics, environmental, hazmat, zoning, potential public & private partners, traffic impacts, parking, transit, accessibility, security, energy efficiency, public interface, customer service, and economic development. The study will assist the County Commissioners in their decision on which site will best meet the County's needs.
The Commissioners, on June 19, approved the issuance of a request for proposals to select a consultant to perform this study. Proposals are due by July 19 with an anticipated contract award by the end of August.
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 21 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.
The Citizen Advisory Committee has met one time and is preparing for its second meeting. The committee invites the public to attend their second meeting on Thursday, July 26, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Thurston County Courthouse Complex, Building One, Room 280.
The County anticipates bringing the completed proposal to the citizens for a vote during the August 2019 election.
Disability Accommodations: Room 280 is equipped with an assistive listening system and is wheelchair accessible. To request disability accommodations call the Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator at least three days prior to the meeting at 360-786-5440. Persons with speech or hearing disabilities may call via Washington Relay: 711 or 800-833-6388.