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Design foundations laid for Poulsbo’s City Hall

t Lewis Architects unveil building’s look, costs unknown.

POULSBO — Citizens were given a glance at what part of historic downtown Poulsbo may look like in 2010. The latest design plans for a new city hall were unveiled at a special open house Wednesday night, showcasing more detailed schematics of how the new building will fit in with its proposed Third Avenue and Moe Street space.

Lewis Architecture representatives answered questions and provided explanations for the site’s various schema.

Design drawings showed the 30,000 square-foot, four-story structure facing south and west toward downtown. The first story, as well as part of the second, is allotted for 75 parking spaces. Street parking may also be added.

The building sits on a roughly .6-acre site, and the project has a budget of about $12.4 million.

Drawings also detailed two green roofs, which will contain low maintenance vegetation, and a large outdoor entryway complete with inviting civic center designs.

Poulsbo Mayor Kathryn Quade said though the layouts are not final, they do indicate the direction the project is going. The building should, she said, be a path leader for the look of Poulsbo in the future.

“What I’m hoping to capture in the new city hall building is a standard and a style that will carry us into the future,” she said, adding it won’t only act as an inspiration but a distinguishable landmark.

Council Member Connie Lord said she’d like to add an iconic feature to the structure that is visible from the bay.

Lewis Architecture principal Ross Jamieson said design has been driven by the topography of the land — which includes a 26-foot grade, the interior functional needs and the effort to make the section of the building facing residential Third Street as fitting to the neighborhood as possible.

“One of the key ideas we’ve been working with is keeping an easy-to-look-at roof from up above,” he said, adding they are making a “conscious effort to make (that side) much more residential in scale.”

Jamieson said Lewis Architecture also hopes to capture the view of downtown and Liberty Bay, take advantage of natural light and use materials and forms typical of the Northwest, which he said also fall in line with Scandinavian design. Planners are structuring the building to meet the needs of future growth, so that it has a life span of 50-100 years. Lewis Architects have yet to provide a cost breakdown for the city, but said an estimate should be ready in the next two to three weeks.

Quade said she hopes to be able to break ground on the project this coming fall, with a move-in date slated for January 2010.

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