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May 23, 2023

Out with the old Newhouse at the state Capitol campus

Photo from Hoffman Construction [enlarge]
Crews from 3 Kings Environmental on Friday finished flattening the old Newhouse Building.

The state Department of Enterprise Services set a June 1 groundbreaking ceremony for the replacement Irving R. Newhouse Building project as crews last week leveled the old Newhouse Building, which was a “temporary” structure that ended up being used for 89 years on the Capitol campus in Olympia.

Hoffman Construction, the project's general contractor/construction manager, reports that it's preparing for the next phases of work after demolition subcontractor 3 Kings Environmental tore down the old 25,000-square-foot building at 215 Sid Snyder Ave. S.W. Upcoming work will involve construction of a basement shoring wall along Water Street and installation of 69 auger-cast piles, each 24 inches in diameter, to depths of 70 feet to support the replacement building. A DES bulletin says large equipment for the foundation work is expected to arrive this Friday at the site.

The DJC has reported that the replacement building will be four stories tall and 59,010 square feet, and will cost $64.5 million to build.

Image from Miller Hull [enlarge]
Miller Hull’s conceptual design for the Newhouse Building omits classical elements such as columns, pediments and capitals found on some other buildings on the Capitol campus.

Project architect Miller Hull told the DJC last fall that the replacement will contain “senate suites, caucus offices, a public meeting space, classrooms for high school students for public process and legislature education, and flexible space that can be used and rented by different groups. A centralized four-story stairwell illuminated by a skylight will thread these floors together, connecting spaces and departments, and becoming a mixing chamber in which faculty and statesmen can have impromptu collaborations.”

Miller Hull's design borrows from the neoclassical architecture of the nearby John A. Cherberg Building. Murase is the landscape architect.

DES says: “The building design focuses on timelessness and a Washington aesthetic, with landscaping that will further enhance the original campus plan envisioned by the Olmsted Brothers, including extending a tree arc intended by the firm.”

The latest update from DES indicates construction of the building will finish in late 2024, followed by interior finishing and installation of furnishings.

Hoffman's subcontractors include UMC (plumbing and mechanical) and VECA (electrical). The company's Hoffman Structures unit is in charge of mass timber construction. Reid Middleton is the civil engineer.

Replacing the Newhouse Building is part of the Legislative Campus Modernization project, which includes an expansion of the Joel M. Pritchard Building and an interior renovation of the John L. O'Brien Building. BNBuilders is the GC/CM for the Pritchard and O'Brien buildings, with DLR Group as architect. LDC Inc. is the civil engineer.

Next week's groundbreaking ceremony will start at noon at the south end of the construction site along 15th Avenue Southwest. The state has yet to announce who the speakers will be, or the agenda.

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