After a year of work, leaders from Thurston County and the City of Olympia are currently looking for the best option for the county’s Courthouse Complex.
“The buildings in its current state are at the end of their useful life, costing significant taxpayer dollars to maintain and operate. The current layout and design also makes it difficult for citizens to locate important county resources and services in a timely manner,” the Thurston County Board of Commissioners said in a statement. “The success of this project will improve and consolidate services, as well as promote long-term cost savings, improved access, and increased consistencies across county offices and departments.”
To decide whether the county should reconstruct the current courthouse complex or build a new courthouse and civic center facility, leadership has evaluated multiple sites according to a comparative feasibility study. The study looks at costs, phasing, logistics, environmental, hazmat, zoning, potential public and private partners, traffic impacts, parking, transit, accessibility, security, energy efficiency, public interface, customer service, and economic development.
Using this study, leadership has narrowed down three of 12 potential options: the renovation and expansion of the courthouse and civic center at its current Lakeridge Drive location, the construction of a new courthouse and civic center on the existing City of Olympia property on Plum Street, or the construction of a new courthouse and civic center at Harrison Avenue NW and Kaiser Road SW.
A Citizen Advisory Committee comprised of 21 volunteer citizens from across the county has been created to provide feedback to the commissioners. The public is invited to the committee’s second meeting from 3-4:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 26 at the Thurston County Courthouse Complex, Building One, Room 280.
The County plans on bringing the completed proposal to citizens for a vote during the August 2019 election.