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Poulsbo reaches for the sky

Welder Justin Bonifield with Olympia-based AK Steel works on a bead at the new city hall building in downtown Poulsbo.  - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
Welder Justin Bonifield with Olympia-based AK Steel works on a bead at the new city hall building in downtown Poulsbo.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

POULSBO — Once there was a hole in the ground at Third Avenue NE and NE Moe Street.

“Now there is something coming up,” Poulsbo City Hall Project Manager Richard Potter said on Wednesday, behind him steel and concrete rising into the sky.

Even with photos of the project posted monthly on the city’s Web site Poulsbo’s most expansive public works project in history hasn’t resembled much.

“A lot of people come by and say, ‘What is this?’”

But at the 25 percent mark, the 30,000-square-foot building, with 30,000 square feet of parking, is starting to take shape.

“We were still in the hole, nobody could see what we’re doing,” Potter said. “Now we have steel in the air.”

The building is expected to open in the summer. It will house all departments and employees in the current City Hall at 19050 Jensen Way NE, and is compared to a rabbit warren for its circuitous layout. Some additional city employees will relocate, said Public Works Director Barry Loveless.

Construction currently is in the structural phase. The concrete work is almost done, at about 4,000 cubic yards, and the steel work is about half done. Roof installation will begin in January, Potter said.

The building is officially slated to serve the city for 50 years, but Loveless said it’s going to be around a lot longer than that.

“We expect this to last almost forever,” he said, noting, “Nothing lasts forever without renovation.”

Permanence comes with a price. Of the $15.8 million price tag, $8.3 million is the contract with JTM Construction of Seattle to raise the building. The property cost $1.6 million, according to budget documents on the city’s Web site.

It’s hard for officials to recall another project of similar scope in city history.

“It’s the biggest one the city has done, ever, probably,” Loveless said.another project of similar scope in city history.

“It’s the biggest one the city has done, ever, probably,” Loveless said.

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