By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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“There's no turning back now,” City Manager Steve Burkett said as the machine scraped exterior flashing off the side of the building.
Crews from Tacoma-based Dickson Co. began tearing down the 1973 building at 152 W. Cedar St. over the course of several hours, taking care to keep the metal, wood and brick separate for salvage.
The building is being torn down to make way a new $15 million City Hall that will bring the administration, public works and police departments under the same roof for the first time in decades.
The Dickson excavator smashed in two of the cinder block walls in the back of the building and put material inside the old City Hall site.
Remaining walls were set to be knocked down Monday and today.
Dickson is doing the demolition work on a subcontract with primary contractor Lydig Construction of Bellevue.
Lydig was awarded an $11.85 million contract to oversee construction of the 30,000-square-foot building.
The new civic center will cover most of the north side of the West 100 block of Cedar Street, with a plaza fronting Sequim Avenue.
The demolished City Hall was built for $96,000, Burkett said, according to the original building permit found by city officials earlier Monday.
City engineer David Garlington said the Dickson demolition crew will likely move next to remove houses at 171 and 191 W. Spruce St., across the alley from the City Hall site. The houses will become parking lots.
Crews will then raze the old Serenity House shop and apartment building at the corner of Sequim Avenue and Cedar Street, Garlington said.
The site has been surrounded by cyclone fence, with the Cedar Street sidewalk in front of the construction zone closed off.
Clallam and Jefferson transit bus stops have been moved from the Sequim Transit Center bus plaza at 190 W. Cedar St. to curbs along 2nd Ave. and Cedar Street.
City offices moved in December to Suite 17 in the Sequim Valley Shopping Center, 609 W. Washington St., and to the former Head Start administrative building, 226 N. Sequim Ave.
Sequim police still are in Suite 16 — a former movie theater — in the Sequim Village Shopping Center.
For non-emergencies, the Police Department phone number is 360-683-7227. For emergencies, dial 9-1-1.
Last July, the city issued $10,439,000 in construction bonds to finance the project at a 4.53 percent interest rate.
The first payment this year will cost the city $580,000.
The bonds will be repaid from several sources: $225,000 from a public safety tax approved by voters in 2012, which raised the city sales tax by 0.1 percent; $200,000 from elimination of current rent for city office space, including the Sequim Village Shopping Center spaces; $75,000 from the real estate excise tax; and $160,000 from excess budget capacity.
A public meeting to tell of potential impacts of City Hall construction on the surrounding neighborhood is set for 5 p.m. Thursday. The meeting will be at the Transit Center.
For more information, contact City Engineer David Garlington at 360-683-4908 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone Kevin McCarry of Lydig Construction at 425-885-3314.
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at email@example.com.