Municipal campus proposal unveiled

POULSBO — The once clouded pieces of Little Norway’s municipal campus proposal became a little clearer Tuesday as architects from Tacoma-based BLRB Architects presented a preliminary site plan for the 10th Avenue property.

BLRB was hired by the city to conduct a site analysis as part of a pre-purchase study of the land, currently owned by Olympic Resource Management. The proposal will go before the full city council at its Oct. 19 meeting for another decision on the parcel.

“This is all very preliminary and we’ve still got a lot of work to do,” said BLRB principal architect Tom Bates as he discussed the preliminary site plan. “This is how we see all the pieces fitting together.”

While the new city hall is the primary thrust of the project, the firm took a wholistic approach to the site instead of focusing solely on one building, Bates said.

“We did that because we wanted to make sure we had a master plan for the site, so we allowed for organized expansion on the site,” he said, noting the importance of not creating additional constraints to the property.

The initial site plan features a two-story, 30,000-square-foot city hall on the north side of the ORM building with a recreation/community center on the east side of the new city hall and an 11,300-square-foot police station located at the corner of Lincoln Road and State Highway 305.

“The views from the second floor should be spectacular and I think it’s got a very Poulsbo feel to it,” he remarked, noting the initial design work has focused on blending the project in with its surroundings and maintaining a strong link to the city’s proud heritage.

Mayor Donna Jean Bruce praised the presentation, saying that it was an excellent display of what the municipal campus planning committee and the architects have been working toward during the last two months.

“The committee has worked really well together and the communication between the architect and committee has been first-class,” Bruce commented.

To their credit, the architects have continued to display the same level of excitement toward the project as they did during the interview process, she said.

“During the interview process, they were the only ones to show enthusiasm about working with the city,” she explained.

Even though the event was held in the city council chambers as opposed to a larger venue, Bruce said she was pleased with the overall turnout as the public got to see firsthand what the city has been working toward.

“We had a good mix of people and everyone had a little different take on things but there weren’t any major complaints,” she said, noting that the project is still in its early stages. “It was just a conceptual design and it moves us forward.”

Councilman Mike Regis agreed that the presentation was well-received by the community, but cautioned that much work still needs to be done before a decision is made to purchase the property.

“We still need to do substantial refinement, but definitely this one (conceptual site plan) has attributes that were commendable,” Regis remarked. “It clearly has its challenges.”

However, those challenges should be addressed during the pre-purchase due diligence, he said.

“We haven’t bought the property yet,” Regis said, referring to the city’s purchase of the Morris property in 2000.

The city bought that property for $600,000 and then spent $76,000 to discover that it wouldn’t work for a new city hall.

Grey Box Material

Council Chambers 1,872 GSF

Court Room 720 GSF

City Services 26,734 GSF

Total City Hall 29,726 GSF

Police Dept. 11,300 GSF

Comm.Cent/Rec. 10,300 GSF

* (GSF) Gross Square Footage

Parking Distribution

City Council 38 stalls

Court Room 15 stalls

City Hall 64 stalls

Police Dept. 28 stalls

Comm. Cent. 26 stalls

Total No. 182 stalls

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