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Municipal campus marches forward

POULSBO — Thursday night’s municipal campus open house gave Tom Bates and the rest of his crew a better idea of what Norwegian architecture may be.

Poulsbo City Councilman Dale Rudolph asked the public for its input on that issue Wednesday night and more than 40 people flocked to the Poulsbo Fire Department to provide an answer.

“I think it’s the use of natural materials and the use of wood. And traditional building forms are important,” Bates, the principal architect with BLRB Architects of Tacoma, said as he fielded questions from residents viewing the model of what the city hall building could look like.

Balancing the building with nature and blending it into the natural features of the site are important as well, he added.

“I think this is very important for us to do a good job to create work reflective of Poulsbo,” Bates said.

The open house presented design options that are not set in stone, so the public could comment on them and further shape the design of the building, which won’t be completed until the fall.

Public Works Director Jeff Lincoln said he was pleased with the changes the architects had made since Tuesday’s municipal campus planning committee, during which the committee suggested changes to that design.

“I’m seeing an architect team and design review committee open to all ideas and wanting to work on a Poulsbo community icon,” Lincoln said.

The importance of the open house was to increase the level of public input and ideas of what the community wants in the building, he said.

“I’m very pleased with where we are now,” Lincoln said.

For Poulsbo resident Muriel Williams, who serves on the municipal campus planning committee, Thursday was an opportunity for people see for themselves how the project is progressing.

“I’m thrilled and I just can’t see any direction but ahead,” Williams said.

The architects from BLRB are top notch and have been wonderful to work with throughout the ongoing design process, she said.

“I can’t imagine working with better people,” Williams said. “I’m impressed.”

Michael Trevors admitted to being a little skeptical before attending the open house.

“Initially I had some reservations, but it’s a little overwhelming actually,” Trevors said after seeing the designs and sketches presented by the architects.

The architects and the municipal campus committee have created a project that the community can be proud of and have done a fabulous job, he said.

“It’s obvious a lot of commitment and work have gone into it,” Trevors said.

As Mayor Kathryn Quade surveyed the crowd she said she was pleased with not only with the turnout but the changes made from the initial designs.

“I see some real positives after the committee meeting Tuesday and I think we’re headed in the right direction,” Quade said. “We’re going to end up with a building that says Poulsbo and it won’t be anywhere else but Poulsbo.”

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