PORT TOWNSEND — With an exterior restoration that honors its past and a state-of-the-art interior, Peninsula College’s Building 202 at Fort Worden was recently recognized for its renovations that were finished last year.
It received an honorable mention award at the American Institute of Architects Washington Council Civic Design Awards ceremony in Seattle on Oct. 26 for Schacht Aslani Architects’ adaptive reuse of the historic space.
“That project was an important project for the college and we just really had a great experience working with the architect to preserve the historic integrity of the building and at the same time create a state-of-the-art learning environment for our students,” said Peninsula College President Luke Robins on Wednesday.
Originally used as a military barracks at the turn of the century, the building required a complete, $6.1 million renovation to be brought up to code, including a seismic upgrade, when the college purchased it in 2009.
The redone 14,000-square-foot space provides more classrooms, faculty offices and student spaces than the previous location. Each of the seven classrooms has 24 laptops for students to check out and use during class.
Classrooms also are equipped with “smart classroom” features such as presentation monitors, and a few have interactive televisions that allow students from the Port Townsend campus to participate in classes at other campuses.
Schacht Aslani used period photographs to guide the restoration of the building’s exterior. As a National Historic Landmark all details, including original exterior materials, had to adhere to the guidelines of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Restoration.
“As a result, the architects considered the whole collection of buildings as greater than any individual project; the design of the individual project must contribute to the sense of the whole,” the firm said in a news release, adding that Building 202 would set a precedent for future renovations.
Building 202 includes four general classrooms, a science classroom, a studio/art room, a learning lab, a workforce training room, student study space, reception,and advising areas, and faculty offices.
The facility also is used by the Fort Worden Public Development Authority during periods when it is not in use by the college.
The PDA’s executive director, Dave Robison, could not be reached by phone Wednesday.
In a news release, he said one of the primary reasons the City of Port Townsend created the PDA was to partner with the college to help facilitate the Building 202 project at Fort Worden.
“This is a cornerstone project that will further implement the vision of the Lifelong Learning Center and provide a strong foundation for expanding arts, cultural and educational programs and classes at the Fort,” Robison said at the building’s grand opening Oct. 24, 2016.
Robins said Peninsula College has two presentations planned in December to share the news about the award with the Port Townsend City Council and the Fort Worden PDA.
The first is planned during the City Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at 540 Water St.
The second is set for the Fort Worden PDA Board meeting at 9 a.m. Dec. 20. at Commons B in Building 210 at Fort Worden.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jm[email protected].