Poulsbo to begin city hall architect negotiations

POULSBO — In their continuing quest for a new city hall at the corner of 3rd Avenue and Moe Street, the Poulsbo City Council gave Mayor Kathryn Quade an affirmative nod Wednesday night to pursue contract negotiations with the Bellevue-based firm, Lewis Architecture & Interior Design.

The council’s Long-Range Planning Committee narrowed the field Dec. 5 from 11 firms to four, and interviewed each of them Dec. 12 before making a final choice.

Quade said Lewis Architecture was the committee’s unanimous favorite, and boasts an extensive history in designing city halls and other public buildings. They also have an impressive track record of including the public in their process, and are committed to working with local architect Dick Prine, she said.

“It was a lot of hard work, there were a lot of good applications,” she said.

Gary Tusberg, urban housing director for the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority, which is acting as project manager for the city, said the contract should be finalized and preliminary designs created in January.

The contract with the firm will be based on a percentage of the cost of construction, he said. The project as a whole has a budget of about $12 million.

Lewis Architecture has recently designed city halls for the cities of Burlington, Kelso and Woodinville, and is presently completing a 30,000 square-foot addition to the city hall in Lacey. The firm has also been involved with community facilities, including the Silverdale community campus plan, Bainbridge Island library expansion, libraries in Snohomish and Puyallup, and the Leavenworth Senior Center expansion.

In a statement of qualifications the firm submitted to the the City of Poulsbo, Lewis Architecture states, “involving the public in shaping the building as been a routine part of our firm’s design process for many years. Master plans, facility programs and detailed building designs have all gained widespread support by way of our inclusive and interactive approach.”

The firm also stated that they have a large number of repeat clients due to careful attention to both schedule and budget, and have never had to rebid a project because of cost over-runs.

The city is continuing its attempts to expedite the city hall process wherever possible; the hope is to break ground in 2008 with a move-in goal of 2009.

In conjunction with the project, the city is also putting up for sale the Mitchusson Park property also known as the Klingle property — a 9.5-acre parcel of undeveloped land at the end of 2nd Avenue. The council will hold a public hearing at 7:15 Jan. 2 to receive public input on the matter.

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