The Olympian has found a new home.
We have signed a long-term lease to move into the building at Legion Way and Franklin Street in downtown Olympia that used to be home to GHB Insurance. And we are excited to be moving into the heart of downtown once again. We expect that to happen about the time the calendar flips to 2018.
The move is much overdue. As the newspaper has evolved from being simply a newspaper to a multimedia news provider, we have stopped printing the newspaper at our site, and we’ve consolidated our business services — everything from human resources to distribution — with our sister publication The News Tribune. That means more than half of our building on the hill sits empty.
Soon it won’t, however. Once we move out, the Olympia School District, the building’s new owner, will begin remodeling the building into its own administrative headquarters, and it will be school district employees who will enjoy its wonderful views of the Capitol and the west side.
Meanwhile, we will be moving into a space specifically created for the news organization we have become. The remodeling work is under way at our new site. It will provide offices for the advertising staff and for our reporters and videographers, who will have much easier access to the action at Olympia City Hall, Sylvester and Heritage parks, and other downtown businesses. I’m looking forward to using Intercity Transit to get to work!
Customers also will continue to have ready access to our front-desk staff, who are able to help with obituaries and other matters.
There will be some sadness in leaving our home at Bethel Street and Fourth Avenue. For five decades, it has welcomed dignitaries, hosted community meetings, withstood graffiti and dissent, and served as a home to some exceptionally fine journalists and other devoted staff.
But it wasn’t The Olympian’s first home. The newspaper has occupied a number of buildings as it has evolved through its storied history. We are looking forward to our new home and a storied future ahead.