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Richland to break ground on new city hall Friday

Richland plans to break ground next week on a new three-story building to consolidate city hall and administrative operations now housed in three aging buildings.
Richland plans to break ground next week on a new three-story building to consolidate city hall and administrative operations now housed in three aging buildings. City of Richland

The city of Richland will break ground on its new city hall at 10 a.m. Friday.

Richland is building a three-story, 40,000-square-foot building to consolidate city hall and administrative operations now housed in three aging buildings. All are failing after nearly 60 years of operation.

Last year, the city purchased 1.8 acres at 625 Swift Ave., in the corner of the Federal Building parking lot, for the new city hall.

The deal included a land swap with the U.S. General Services Administration that reduced the site cost to $392,000. The new building will cost an estimated $18.5 million to build and will house about 90 city employees when it opens in roughly 18 months.

Architects West of Coeur d’Alene is the project architect, working with Portland-based Opsis Architects. Spokane-based Leone & Keeble, which recently completed work on the Washington State University Tri-Cities student union, is the builder.

Once the new offices open in spring 2019, the old buildings will be demolished and the property will be made available for development supporting the city’s Swift Corridor plan to create a corridor between the city’s government heart and Howard Amon Park on the Columbia River. The police department building is not part of the redevelopment.

The corridor will improve access to the park from city hall, Kadlec Regional Medical Center’s new patient tower and parking structure, restaurants, offices, sports fields, parking lots and the Richland Public Library.

The city issued “councilmanic” bonds to pay for the project. It will service the debt with real estate excise taxes that were previously used to pay off the debt on the city shops at Queensgate and from existing utility occupation taxes.

The project is not registered with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building rating program but will incorporate sustainable features.

Wendy Culverwell: 509-582-1514, @WendyCulverwell

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