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City sets timeline for civic center construction

The initial construction schedule for the City of Sequim Civic Center and Police Station closes sidewalks in April around the project and in front of a soon-to-be demolished lot northwest of the site.  - Submitted graphic
The initial construction schedule for the City of Sequim Civic Center and Police Station closes sidewalks in April around the project and in front of a soon-to-be demolished lot northwest of the site.
— image credit: Submitted graphic

In a few weeks, CPA Steve Kanters will see a new Sequim blue hole from his office’s porch.

The bright blue of the former Serenity House Thrift Shop building will be replaced with an open space next to the City of Sequim’s future civic center and police station.

“The open space is a positive,” Kanters said.

He and his wife already created a garden in front of their offices, which Kanters said will carry well into the new space.

As for the center’s impact with noise and traffic flow, Kanters said the way his office faces shouldn’t be a problem.

“It’s not any worse than when they did repairs to Sequim Avenue,” he said.

Traversing near the civic center might be a minor annoyance for passers-by, but it might be a morning wake-up call for dozens of neighbors with the project slated to go through early 2015.

Over several weeks, Lydig Construction, the contracted Bellevue outfit, will begin demolition on two vacant houses that will become the home to Clallam Transit’s park-and-ride. Lydig will then demolish the old city hall and Serenity House buildings.

David Garlington, project manager for the City of Sequim, said construction is set for weekdays from 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. with no night work.

They haven’t set a firm demolition date as of Tuesday, April 1, but will post the information on the city’s website at www.sequimwa.gov. During construction, the City of Sequim plans to display a live feed on its website of the project from a camera at the public restrooms on Sequim Avenue.

Local impact

Vehicles moving along Sequim Avenue shouldn’t be affected, Garlington said.

For a few days, however, Cedar Street between Sequim Avenue and Second Avenue will become one lane for utility work sometime between May and June. At night the lane will reopen with metal plates over the holes.

Other roads remain relatively unaffected except for the alleyway between Spruce Street and Cedar Street. It will close for several weeks to replace a manhole and later to ground utilities, Garlington said.

There are three residential lots north of the property with dozens of residents in houses and apartments.

Throughout the project, the Sequim Avenue sidewalk on the west will be closed in front of the former Serenity House Thrift Shop and around the site including the north side of Cedar Street.

A six-foot fence will surround the entire project’s site.

A portion of Spruce Street will also close in front of the city’s new property for the park-and-ride near the northwest corner of Spruce Street and Second Avenue.

Pedestrians, particularly residents who access their homes from the alley, will have access but not vehicles.

Those looking to catch the bus will need to go to the northwest corner of the Clallam Transit building for a ride until the project is complete.

Once finished, bus pickups and drop-offs will go to the soon-to-be leveled lot on Spruce Street.

Garlington said the city is still in the process of purchasing a second lot next to the house it plans to demolish.

Voices of citizens

Parking was one of the big concerns for local businesses but Garlington said parking on the south side of Cedar Street will be unaffected.

Those living and parking in the alley will need to park elsewhere, though.

Kevin Bell, who owns business and residential buildings south of Cedar Street, thinks the city will do a good job on the project.

“It’s going to be a problem for a little bit but they’ll keep it going smoothly,” he said.

Kanters said he’s pleased the city will close the alley behind his business during construction because people drive through it too quickly.

Lisa Bridge, market manager for the Sequim Farmers Market, formerly the Sequim Open Aire Market, said they’ll be moving to Centennial Place at the corner of Washington Street and Sequim Avenue during construction.

“The move has its share of challenges and we will not know how well it suits us until we actually set up and run a handful of markets there,” she said.

Once completed, the market plans to move onto green space to the east of the civic center and onto Cedar Street east of Seal Street.

Bridge said she was told architects kept the market in mind for the space.

“Relocating back to Cedar St. and to the new civic center will likely be to our advantage,” she said.

For updates on the project, visit www.sequimwa.gov.

 

Civic Center construction impact timeline

• April

Demolition of existing buildings: former city hall, former Serenity House Thrift Shop and two vacant homes near Spruce Street and Second Avenue.

Sidewalk closed around the new civic center site with a six-foot fence around its entirety.

Fencing will also go up around the city’s new site for the park-and-ride in front of the two properties on Spruce Street.

• May-June

The alley between Cedar and Spruce Street from Sequim Avenue to Second Avenue will close for several weeks for utility work.

Portions of the sidewalk on Spruce Street will close as well as the entrances to the alleyway.

For a few days, Cedar Street will become one lane.

June 2014-winter 2015

Alleyway is closed to vehicles.

Sidewalks around site remain closed but no traffic alterations are expected.


 

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