Thurston County has contracted Olympia-based Thomas Architecture Studios to complete a feasibility study of three possible sites for the county’s courthouse and civic center project.
The firm was selected from six proposals that the county’s evaluation and selection panel reviewed, according to a Wednesday news release. Three firms were then chosen for interviews, and “the consensus of the panel” was to select Thomas.
The study will examine the three sites for their viability as a civic headquarters, including environmental sustainability, life cycle costs and safety. Thomas will also examine parking and transit services at each location.
The three sites are “Hilltop,” the site of six existing county buildings on Capitol Lake; the municipal court facility just east of downtown; and an undeveloped property west of Capitol Mall. They are the final three of 12 sites originally considered, according to the release.
Thomas will present a detailed report to county commissioners to aid their selection of the final site. They are then likely to place a ballot measure on the August 2019 primary ballot for project funding, according to the release.
The county and Thomas are also in the process of soliciting public feedback and distributing more information to stakeholders, through surveys, open houses, and informational videos.
County and City of Olympia leaders have for the last year been working to create a new courthouse complex or reconstruct the existing facility. The current courthouse has significant maintenance and operating costs, making it financially unviable to continue operating in its current state.
Thomas began operations a decade ago and has been headquartered in downtown Olympia since 2011. It has worked with several public agencies in Thurston, Pierce, Kitsap, and Lewis counties. Its contract with the county was signed Aug. 24.