The Fort Worden is slotted for just over a million dollars in capital projects in 2017. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Fort Worden Public Development Authority plans capital improvements

PORT TOWNSEND — More than $1.3 million in capital projects are planned for Fort Worden during 2017, according to the budget adopted by the Fort Worden Public Development Authority.

The $1,392,875 capital improvement budget was unanimously approved by the board of the public development authority (PDA) on Wednesday morning.

The long-awaited Makers Square project is the most expensive project on the list, which was budgeted $935,000 for architectural and engineering planning.

“We hope to have bids opening by this time next year,” said Dave Robison, PDA executive director.

Also in the planning phases is the culinary facility planning and development, which is budgeted at $29,225 for 2017.

The Fort Worden maintenance team will be moved, since the current shop is in what will be Makers Square. That project is going to cost an estimated $57,500.

Accommodations will be expanded. The PDA slotted $75,000 to begin planning for a “glamping” site — slang for glamour camping — near the old school building, providing another option for people looking to stay at the state park.

As far as physical projects that will be completed in 2017, the most expensive is a $186,750 renovation of Building 4, which is going to be refurbished inside and out.

Building 4 is one of the large houses on Officer’s Row. It is the one next to the Commanding Officer’s Museum on the south side of the park and is used as visitor accommodation.

Building 16, another of the accommodations on Officer’s Row, will be getting $16,400 worth of updates as well.

The Bliss Vista Cottage, which is going to be the premium accommodations at Fort Worden, according to Robinson, will be getting $43,000 worth of updates.

The National Park Service will provide some funding for that project.

The PDA is also planning $50,000 worth of miscellaneous leaseholder improvements.

“You’ll see that this is a very small list, so we will be working on some alternative projects,” Robison said.

Among those, which may be up for a supplemental budget later in the year, are a number of small projects that aim at making Fort Worden more energy-efficient.

The projects, which include adding solar panels, LED lighting and more efficient heating systems, is valued at $1.6 million.

Robison said $170,000 is pledged for the solar project and another $380,000 for the new heating system, but the PDA is responsible for the remaining cost.

“We’ve had a hard time coming up with those funds,” Robison said. “We’ll likely bring this back up in the spring for a supplemental budget.”

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.