Marysville’s new Civic Campus springs forward

MARYSVILLE – Out with the old, in with the new. That’s an annual theme when spring comes around.

But it’s certainly true this year regarding downtown.

Just northwest of Comeford Park the Berean Baptist Church was torn down and an old house moved away this week to eventually make way for the new Civic Campus.

City residents in August 2018 passed a 1/10th of 1 percent sales tax increase for law and justice to pay for the public safety portion of the campus. Other city buildings will be sold to pay for the rest of the $23 million project.

City spokeswoman Connie Mennie said Wednesday that the project will go out to bid this fall. The thought behind that is bids should be lower because it’s not the height of construction season.

“We want to be able to afford what we want to do,” she said.

Construction is expected to start in spring of 2020 with occupation some time in 2021.

“It’s a pretty aggressive timeline,” she said.

Mennie said bids will go out with two options: to do it all at once, or in phases with the public safety building coming first.

The most-current concept of the 6-acre energy-efficient campus has a City Hall tower at the south end with courts and police just to the north, all from Fifth to Sixth streets. City Hall would include Community Development and Public Works Engineering offices, consolidating departments spread out over town. The city foresees greater efficiencies and customer service.

The jail, which would house 110 inmates in 50 cells, would be from Sixth to Seventh streets with parking from Seventh to Eighth streets. More parking would be available to the west of all the buildings near the train tracks, including from Fourth to Fifth.

Delta Avenue will be turned into a “Woonerf,” which is a Dutch word that means “living street.” It would be for low-speed vehicles, pedestrians and other community activities.

Inside the buildings the themes will be wood, natural light and earth tones.

Mennie said city employees have played a role in the design of the building. “It’s not been, ‘Here’s what we’re going to do,’” she said. The collaboration has been “exciting for folks.”

One idea suggested by law enforcement is to move the memorial from the library to the new Civic Campus, where there will be a sizable plaza and public space, Mennie said.

Workers also have made suggestions for work spaces and break rooms.

Another exciting part of the project, Mennie said, was the city donating the yellow house on Eighth Street to the Nickel Brothers, who are moving it for free. “That saves the house from the landfill,” she said.

Nickel Brothers will then renovate the house. “There are some charming things they could keep, like old wood floors,” Mennie said.

But other things will be updated, such as windows and appliances.

The company will then sell it to someone who has property, so they can save money by not having to build a new house, she said.

The firm also does that business model with commercial buildings.

“Our original plan was to demolish it,” Mennie said of the house. “We just want a clean building site. And now some other family gets to enjoy the house down the road.”

She said there is still a white house on the northwest corner of Fifth and Delta that needs to come down.

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Sue Weiss, 60
                                Work: Retired accountant, City Council
                                Education: Associates degree in Respiratory Therapy, Certificate of Municipal Leadership through Association of Wash. Cities.
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