Marysville civic campus studied
by Beckye Randall
City officials in Marysville have approved contracts with two consulting firms to research and provide recommendations for a new civic complex.
Makers, a Seattle design firm, has already been on the job for several months. The focus of its studies include treatment of the entire downtown area, including suggestions for creating a more unified and attractive downtown core.
“We don’t want to just create a new building for the city,” said Mayor Dennis Kendall. “The idea is to come up with an intelligent design that includes ample parking and enhancements that will invigorate our existing core and attract new businesses here.”
Bill Angle, a consultant with Public-Private Development Solutions of Everett, has also been hired to develop the project’s RFQ, Request for Quotation, which will delineate the specifications of the complex construction for potential bidders. The RFQ document will help determine not only what the city’s needs are, but how to fund the project as well.
“What we’re planning is a ‘build to suit’ partnership with a builder,” Kendall explained. “The builder would still own the facility and the City would lease it for a guaranteed time period, after which we would complete the purchase.” With minimal capital needed up-front, the project would put less strain on the city’s budget.
Currently the city’s operations are housed in separate buildings scattered around town. City Hall and the municipal court building are near one another on 10th and State Avenue, public works offices are in a facility on 1st Street near Ebey Slough, and the police station is on Grove Street.
“We’re not doing this [planning] just because we want shiny new offices,” said Kendall. “By bringing all our departments into one location, we can share a lot of the resources and costs – like reception personnel, copiers and fax machines.”
“And it will be much more convenient for our citizens to be able to come to one location to pay their water bill, talk to their council representative or apply for a building permit,” he continued.
While the main focus of studies now is location of the complex, Kendall said the staff is already preparing a design wish list too.
“We want it to be energy-efficient, a Gold Level ‘green’ building,” said the mayor, referring to ratings developed by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) organization. “We’re also looking at potential staffing through 2030, to make sure we allow for the city’s growth.”
There’s a possibility that the new civic campus could incorporate an events center, but that will depend on decisions about space needs and costs, Kendall said.
Paul Roberts, who was recently promoted from Public Works Director to an assistant administrator position in the executive department to help oversee the development of the civic complex, will soon retire from the city.
“He [Roberts] will take some time off, but then he’ll act as an independent consultant on the project,” said Kendall. “We can’t afford to lose his expertise and knowledge quite yet.”