Edmonds benefits from passing of capital budget

Waterfront Center, Anderson Center, Madrona K-8 get boost from state
By Brian Soergel | Jan 25, 2018

Several big-budget projects in Edmonds will be getting much-needed funds after the Legislature passed a $4.18 billion capital budget on a 95-1 vote that was signed by Gov. Inslee.

The budget had been left in limbo since August due to the state Supreme Court’s Hirst decision.

“The Hirst decision was a rural water rights issue, important to certain rural areas outside of urban areas,” Mayor Dave Earling said. “The benefit of the passage of Hirst for Edmonds is that it removed the obstacle for approval of the capital project budget, which included Edmonds projects.”

The capital budget pays for state-funded development, and the stalemate put a delay to a number of projects across Washington, including efforts to improve schools.

“The new capital budget will create thousands of jobs in every corner of the state,” 21st District Rep. Strom Peterson (D-Edmonds) said. He is vice chair of the House Capital Budget Committee. “It includes a record $1 billion to build public schools and $800 million to build colleges and universities.”

Indeed, it includes $37.8 million for the Edmonds Community College Science, Engineering and Technology Building and $8.77 million for the replacement of Madrona K-8.

Regarding Madrona, Edmonds School District spokeswoman Debbie Joyce Jakala said the district typically gets a portion of the cost of a school’s rebuilding with state dollars, but the bulk is always from a voter-approved bond.

For the city of Edmonds itself, there are two major beneficiaries: $2.25 million for the Edmonds Waterfront Center, as well as $500,000 for adjacent shoreline restoration, and $391,000 for replacing the roof at Frances Anderson Center.

“We are excited about the funding for both the Frances Anderson Center roof and the Waterfront Center and park redevelopment,” Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director Carrie Hite said.

“The park redevelopment in front of the Senior Center will likely begin in the spring of 2019. The Waterfront Center is not determined yet, as it depends on fundraising efforts.

“The roof at the Frances Anderson Center is in much need of replacement. This likely will happen later this year.”

In all, the budget will generate an estimated 75,000 jobs in construction, engineering and natural resources over the next four years.

“We’ve seen the growing crises of homelessness, mental health, and opioid addiction affect communities across the state,” Peterson said. “With this budget, we are making historical investments in affordable housing and community behavioral health, as well as funding important projects in our local community.”

Waterfront Center nearing funding goal

The planned Edmonds Waterfront Center is being built by the Edmonds Senior Center in partnership with the city of Edmonds.

“We owe Sen. Maralyn Chase a debt of gratitude for her leadership in making this happen,” Edmonds Senior Center Executive Director Farrell Fleming said. “She has been a tireless champion of our project, working in concert with our Snohomish County delegation.”

This news comes on the heels of a wave of other major gifts that have come in for the project, including $750,000 from the Norcliffe Foundation and contributions from community leaders Erik and Tamara Nelson, who donated $250,000, and Greg Hoff of Windermere-Edmonds, who donated $100,000.

The Waterfront Center momentum has been building since the Oct. 26 community campaign kick-off breakfast, when more than 200 business and community leaders made gifts large and small, totaling $63,000. An additional $60,000 was contributed in year-end giving.

Each of these contributions have been matched by Rick Steves’ community challenge – leaving just $157,000 left of his $1 million match, Fleming said. The travel expert, who has already donated $2 million for the project, pledged another $1 million if community donations add up to another million.

“This brings the total raised for the project to $9 million,” campaign co-chair and former Edmonds Mayor Gary Haakenson said. “It’s thrilling to see the funding come together, but we’re not there yet.

“Currently we are working with our architect, Environmental Works, and contractor, WG Clark, to refine the cost estimate. It will simply cost more to build our building in this superheated construction market.”

The Edmonds Waterfront Center is planned to be a new 25,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, sustainable building that offers a range of programs emphasizing health and wellness, recreation and education for people of all ages while still responding to the needs of seniors living in south Snohomish and north King counties.

Contingent on permitting and fundraising, Executive Director Fleming said the plan is to start construction in the fourth quarter of this year.



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