North Bend breaks ground on public works facility

NORTH BEND - The city held a ground-breaking ceremony last Wednesday for its new public works facility located in the 1100 block of North Bend Way, a few blocks north of the downtown corridor.

Construction will begin on the facility in the next few weeks with its completion date to be within one year. The city needed a new public works location because the current facilities are 50 years old, including an old house that was never intended for such use and is now dilapidated. Mayor Joan Simpson said the public works crew has labored in "less than desirable conditions for years." The crew has had to use outdoor restrooms and deal with holes in the facility's walls. Also, the current site, at 400 Bendigo Blvd. N., does not provide adequate parking for machinery and equipment. In addition, remodeling the facilities was not an option, because the site must be vacated for additions to the city's wastewater treatment plant.

"We've been needing this for about 15 years, so this is exciting," Simpson said.

The 9.3-acre parcel on which the new works facility will be built was purchased by the city in March 1992 for $475,000. Only 4.7 acres are suitable for construction. The new facility will consist of three buildings. One pre-engineered metal building will be 9,566 square feet in size and will house equipment and be a maintenance center. A wood-framed office for staff will be attached to the metal building.

The second structure, 1,793 square feet, will house the offices for public works administrative staff. Materials will be stored in the third structure, which will be 1,200 square feet.

The site will have 25 parking spaces and access to Southeast North Bend Way and Southeast Cedar Falls Way. The project was vested before the city's water moratorium and is eligible for water services. The new buildings will run on a septic system until a sewer line is available.

"The site development will fit in really nice with the existing environment," said Mark Alde, project manager for Premium Construction Group Inc., the company handling building construction. He said there will be landscaping and other physical elements of the project that will prevent it from looking like a plain industrial building. A Bellevue company, Lawhead Architects P.S., completed the design.

The entire project will cost $2.7 million, of which $1.9 million goes toward construction, and the rest to design, equipment, furnishings and miscellaneous costs. Funding for the public works facility will be shared by the city's water, sewer, solid waste and new stormwater utilities, and from the street and parks department funds. The project will take 20 years to pay off.

The new buildings will also function as an emergency operations center. Future plans for the site could include police and fire services.

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