City hall 'saga' comes to a close

Poulsbo's quest for a city hall has spanned a decade. Here's a look back at the project's winding road to completion:

2000 — City purchases property at the intersection of Iverson Street and Seventh Avenue for $600,000. A $76,000 study reveals Dogfish Creek, a salmon bearing stream, bisects the property, leaving little room for construction.

November 2005 — Kathryn Quade, Poulsbo councilwoman and supporter of a downtown city hall, ousts then-Mayor Donna Jean Bruce. Bruce wanted to build city hall on Tenth Avenue. Sides form in the debate as to where city hall should be located, but the Poulsbo City Council votes for the $2.1 million purchase of the 10th Avenue property, along with architect selection and the issuance of a $5.1 million bond to pay for the new city hall, which was estimated to cost $12 million. Quade, not yet sworn in, and Councilwoman Connie Lord voted against the purchase.

June 2006 — Mayor Quade signs a purchase and sale agreement for the Tenth Avenue property.

November 2006 — Continued debate over where city hall should be built results in a ballot measure, asking voters to choose between a downtown site or the 10th Avenue site. Voters chose downtown by a 3 to 2 margin. Moving into an existing building was not a ballot option.

January 2007 — City releases official request for proposals for a new city hall building.

May 2007 — Five proposals are received, then narrowed to three for interviews.

August 2007 — City Council unanimously votes to reject all proposals after agreeing on none. Mayor Quade is authorized to establish a partnership with the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority for the development of a new city hall in hopes they could negotiate the least expensive contracts. Quade was chair of the Housing Authority’s board of commissioners. The city attorney said there was no conflict of interest.

September 2007 — The Housing Authority begins feasibility studies to determine if 200 NE Moe Street is suitable for the project.

November 2007 — City Council approves purchase of land on Moe Street for a rough total of $1.6 million and approves listing surplus city property for sale to help offset building costs.

December 2007 — City interviews four design firms.

January 2008 — Council unanimously votes to hire Lewis Architects for city hall design. City then pauses process to reexamine scope and space needs of city hall.

February 2008 — City moves forward with proposed 30,000-square-foot space, holds architect open house.

May 2008 — City again pauses the project to reevaluate its cost and possible savings.

July 2008 — City Council authorizes Quade to go out for bid on the first phase of city hall construction and issue a bond of no more than $9.5 million.

August 2008 — Site work for new city hall is awarded to Tri-State Construction at $464,514, 15 percent below cost estimate.

September 2008 — The city’s land at the intersection of Iverson Street and Seventh Avenue is officially dedicated as Centennial Park during the city’s 100th year of governance. Ground is broken on city hall project.

October 2008 — Bonding is delayed due to market instability.

November 2008 — City Council pauses project until bid climate improves. Quade signs purchase and sale agreement to sell Tenth Avenue property to Harrison Medical Center.

March 2009 — City issues $6 million in bonds for new city hall. The building’s total cost would be estimated at $15.8 million.

April 2009 — JTM Construction comes in as lowest bid for new city hall, at $1 million less than projected.

May 2009 — Construction on new city hall begins.

November 2009 — Becky Erickson is elected mayor.

November 2010 — City hall at 200 NE Moe Street opens for business.



• The building is 3-stories and 30,000 square feet.

• It has rain-absorbing green roofs.

• In the building’s interior are motion-sensing lights, sound-absorbing ceiling tiles and a computerized locking system.

• The council chambers can seat 105 people, nearly double the old city hall.

• The stairwell and elevator floors are made with custom black granite.

• About 1,350 square feet of the third story, where the mayor’s office was originally sited, is available for rent.

• The Poulsbo Historical Society is creating a museum in the building’s second floor. The museum looks over city hall’s residential neighbor, who lives in Poulsbo’s oldest home.

• The building was designed at an angle to match the rise and fall of the sun. The only other building on the block built at an angle is the home built by Poulsbo founder Martin Bjermeland in 1886.

• The council chambers contain a staggered drop ceiling for optimum accoustics. The wood paneling throughout the council chambers is from Spain.

• Toilets in the new city hall are high-efficiency, and only cycle 1.28 gallons of water per flush. That’s about 20 percent less than standard toilets.

• A 50-year time capsule containing maps of the city, a staff roster, election signs and buttons relaying various local political slogans will be sealed in the building’s main tower.

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