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Architecture & Engineering

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March 18, 2008

Heritage Center, office building planned for the Capitol Campus

Journal Staff Reporter

Image courtesy SRG Partnership [enlarge]
The project team has just began to work on schematic design. This sketch was created a year ago to show what the new building could look like.

The Washington State Department of General Administration has issued a request for proposals for the $145 million Heritage Center and Executive Office Building Project on the Capitol Campus in Olympia.

The state is seeking a general contractor/construction manager for the multi-phase project. SRG Partnership is the architect and has done pre-design.

The 325,000-square-foot building will be the first project built on the west side of campus in 50 years. It will go on the site of the current General Administration Building.

The project will have a high profile being located near the Capitol Building, which is the center of the campus and state government.

There will be one building with two parts that are managed separately. The lower portion will be the 205,000-square-foot Heritage Center, housing a museum, cafe, conference center and other facilities for visitors. It will also contain the state library and state archives.

The upper portion will be the 120,000-square-foot Executive Office Building, which will be used by statewide officials. Tenants will include the Office of the Insurance Commissioner and the State Auditor.

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed is one of the driving forces behind the Heritage Center. He said his desire to create the center began years ago when he visited local exhibits on state history and realized that some small towns like Waterville, Colville and Sunnyside had displays that were more comprehensive than the state.

“Frankly, I was a little appalled there was nothing on the (state capitol) campus on the Washington territory,” he said. “I saw there's nowhere for anybody to really learn about our history, and that was a huge gap. So I was determined to fill that.”

“It is so important that the people of our state have the opportunity to learn about our history, our culture, our heritage, and this is missing on our Capitol Campus and this is going to be a dramatic edition,” he said.

This project also will help consolidate departments. The state library now is in Tumwater, the archives are on the east side of campus, and elected officials are scattered across Thurston County.

Penny Koal, project manager for the Department of General Administration, said the project will make life easier for visitors to the capitol and make government more transparent.

The design team is aiming for LEED gold. It will look at energy efficiency, lighting and water. Lighting will be a real focus, Koal said. Office spaces must have natural light but it must be strictly controlled in the artifact and library areas.

The project is scheduled to begin construction in April of 2010 and be complete by fall of 2012. It is contingent on completion of another project on the east side of campus called the Wheeler project. People displaced during construction of the Heritage Center will work in the Wheeler space. Koal said that project is on schedule.

For more information about the RFP, see the March 14 edition of the DJC.

A tour of the site will be offered Thursday at 10 a.m. The tour will begin at General Administration Building, Room 207.

For more information about the project, visit http://www.ga.wa.gov/HCEOB/.


Katie Zemtseff can be reached by email or by phone at (206) 622-8272.

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