The Olympia City Council will consider tonight whether to spend $3.3 million to replace the leaky exterior of the Washington Center for the Performing Arts.
City Manager Steve Hall recommends the council choose the lowest bidder for the job, Corp Inc. Construction of Salem, Ore. The bid is 4 percent higher than an architects estimate.
All told, the city could spend about $4.6 million to renovate the building at 512 Washington St. SE, including replacing the roof and rooftop mechanical equipment.
Olympia owns the building and is in charge of major maintenance, while the nonprofit arts organization also known as the Washington Center runs the theater and is responsible for interior maintenance.
The city has been looking to stem the deterioration at the building since at least 2008, when the Public Works department found widespread water intrusion was compromising the integrity of the building exterior, according to a city staff report. Crews made emergency repairs designed to last five years.
A more detailed study found that the entire exterior, a synthetic stucco-like material called EIFS, needed to be removed and replaced.
Last June, the council recommended the most expensive of three repair options including a new brick exterior, canopy with lighting, glass doors, a ticket window, poster display windows, custom windows and stone cladding above the canopy, a canopy over the adjacent alley and a permanent marquee sign.
At the time, the council decided it would drop some of the design elements, including the marquee and the stone cladding, if it didnt receive an $816,000 state grant. The state has recommended the city receive the grant, but the State Legislature has to include it in its final budget.
But City Manager Steve Hall is now recommending the council go with those extras anyway. According to the staff report, the project needs to start before a decision on the grant is announced later this month or next month. The council will make the final decision of going with the extras or without, which would save $197,890.
The centers roof and mechanical systems would be replaced at the same time, Sullivan said.
Sullivan said that part of the councils decision tonight is how the city will pay for the repairs. Minus design expenses, which have already been paid, the city will owe $4.2 million. Council members will decide on whether to borrow the rest.
Debbie Sullivan, director of Technical Services, said the plan is to start construction in April and wrap by this fall. That way, the construction will avoid the bulk of the centers seasonal entertainment.
Were going to do the bulk of the work during their off-season, she said. Chad Carpenter, director of event services for the center, said the construction will impact 14 events, but construction will not occur during the shows. And no events have been cancelled as a result.
The impact that its going to have although it will be significant, I think it will be minor, he said.
Matt Batcheldor: 360-704-6869 email@example.com @MattBatcheldor