It was a packed house for the City of Sequim’s Civic Center open house on May 1.
Residents filled the nearly finished 33,000-square-foot, $14.45 million facility at 152 W. Cedar St. that houses the police department and most of the city’s staff and operations.
Barbara Hanna, Sequim communications and marketing director, said the event was deemed a success with upwards of 500 people in attendance during the First Friday Art Walk.
Many of the visitors seemed pleased with the esthetics.
“I think it’s wonderful we’re getting everyone (city employees) under one roof,” said Sally Sue Barry, a former Sequim city councilor.
Sequim resident Vicki Behrens said everything looked fantastic.
A long line of eager attendees formed throughout the event to tour the police department with Police Chief Bill Dickinson and Deputy Chief Sheri Crain.
Visitors saw the squad room, armory, the holding cells from afar, locker rooms and more inside the police’s west side of the building.
The squad room will house Sequim Police and east end Clallam County Sheriff’s deputies, who will lease a portion of it. Holding cells are limited to six hours at most and the suspect processing area will be used by police, deputies and Washington State Patrol troopers.
Crain said the whole police department was purpose-driven to focus on business practices to increase collaboration and officer safety while looking ahead to future growth.
“Not all newly designed police facilities had the luxury of cops being intimately involved in design,” she said. “By our involvement with the architects and contractors, we’ve been able to keep business process and best business practices at the heart of design.”
In August 2012, city residents passed a public safety tax 60 percent to 40 percent worth one-tenth of 1 percent to help pay for the new police department.
City councilors also gave tours and talked with visitors at the entrance, city council chambers and upstairs with other city staff.
The planned rotating art exhibit “What Sequim Means to Me,” with 16 pieces selected by the city’s Arts Advisory Committee wasn’t available yet because hanging mechanisms hadn’t arrived.
City Clerk Karen Kuznek-Reese said they hope to have the art display ready for the First Friday Art Walk on June 5.
Hanna said city staff will begin moving in next week.
The city, in conjunction with the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce, will hold a ribbon cutting at noon, Monday, May 18, with normal hours running to 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
The city council’s first meeting in the building tentatively is slated for June 8 and the city will hold a dedication ceremony on the community plaza at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 13.
For updates on the project, visit sequimwa.gov or call 683-4139.