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Council briefed on need for upgrades to aging Olympia maintenance center

Public Works Director Rich Hoey wraps up a tour of the city's maintenance center at 1401 Eastside St. SE during a special meeting Tuesday with the Olympia City Council and city staff.
Public Works Director Rich Hoey wraps up a tour of the city's maintenance center at 1401 Eastside St. SE during a special meeting Tuesday with the Olympia City Council and city staff. The Olympian

In the next year, the city of Olympia will examine the multimillion-dollar cost of rebuilding or replacing the city’s aging maintenance center.

Located at 1401 Eastside St. SE, the center is home to Olympia’s vehicle fleet operations, utility maintenance, waste management and water resources. Several pallets of road salt are stored on site in case of snowstorms, and the center is set up to double as an “instant command post” for emergency operations in case of a natural disaster.

However, the city is outgrowing the 10.2-acre site, which opened in 1976 and initially included the Intercity Transit headquarters. Over the years, annexations and population growth have placed more demand on city services while shrinking the center’s storage capacity. The aging facility also requires seismic upgrades and better insulation, according to the city.

The Olympia City Council convened for a special meeting at the maintenance center on Tuesday to learn more about short- and long-term goals for the facility. No council decisions were made Tuesday.

However, city officials say the facility is reaching the end of its useful lifespan.

“We’re going to need to think about a major renovation or replacement at some point,” Public Works Director Rich Hoey told the council. He said such a project is about 10-15 years away.

Hoey said the city would look into conducting a feasibility study within the next year to determine costs and more. The facility could be moved to another location, Hoey said, noting areas along Martin Way and South Bay as potential sites. Part of the feasibility study could evaluate the site’s commercial potential, he said.

The facility’s roof, electrical system and HVAC system (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) are among the higher priority repairs. Deputy Public Works Director Debbie Sullivan said more than $7 million worth of basic repairs will be needed through 2019.

The property also has environmental constraints, particularly because of adjoining wetlands. Sullivan estimates a cost between $3 million and $4 million for environmental upgrades on the site.

Andy Hobbs: 360-704-6869

ahobbs@theolympian.com

@andyhobbs

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