Chris Fidler, executive director of the Field Arts and Events Hall, center, gets assistance from Don Frostad, left, and Clayton Frohman of general contractor M.A. Mortenson Company as they peel back the protective cover from a project sign at the future site of the performing arts center at Front and Oak streets on the Port Angeles waterfront. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News file)

Chris Fidler, executive director of the Field Arts and Events Hall, center, gets assistance from Don Frostad, left, and Clayton Frohman of general contractor M.A. Mortenson Company as they peel back the protective cover from a project sign at the future site of the performing arts center at Front and Oak streets on the Port Angeles waterfront. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News file)

Field Arts & Events Hall construction to begin Monday

Final permit issued

PORT ANGELES — Site preparation for construction of the Field Arts & Events Hall, the first piece of the Port Angeles Waterfront Center, will begin Monday, with test pilings to be driven on Tuesday.

The state Department of Ecology issued the storm water permit Friday morning, said Chris Fidler, executive director of the Waterfront Center.

On Monday, contractor Mortenson Construction’s crews will break up asphalt and perform some limited excavation at the site at West Front and Oak streets, Fidler said.

“We will be driving four test piles on Tuesday,” he said. “We will begin driving the rest of the piles in earnest beginning Monday, Nov. 18.”

The work to place 183 pilings 40 feet deep into bedrock will be done in 22 shifts of 10 hours each, according to Fidler.

He expects all the pilings to be in place by mid-December.

Ecology approved the permit three weeks after the invitation-only ground-breaking for the $34 million project.

A construction crane sits at the site of the future Field Arts & Events Hall on Saturday after being delivered to the location on the Port Angeles waterfront earlier in the week. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

A construction crane sits at the site of the future Field Arts & Events Hall on Saturday after being delivered to the location on the Port Angeles waterfront earlier in the week. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Construction of the 41,000-square-foot, 45-foot-tall performance center is expected to be completed May 2021. Equipment would be installed and staff trained over the next three months and the facility would open its doors by August 2021.

Fidler has estimated the staff would number between six and 12 employees.

The 1.07-acre performing arts center will be the largest building on a 1.6-acre parcel that eventually is planned to be also occupied by the Feiro Marine Life Center and national marine sanctuary — now on and near City Pier — and a longhouse cultural activities center constructed by the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe.

The performance center will include room to seat 300 banquet-conference participants, along with the 500-seat Morris Hall performance venue and a 1,000-square-foot art gallery.

The late Donna M. Morris, who died in 2014, bequeathed the initial $9 million for design, construction and maintenance of a performing arts center in Port Angeles.

The Waterfront Center parcel was purchased with a $1.43 million donation from Dorothy Field.

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