PORT ANGELES — It was a spectacle as the Peninsula Behavioral Health’s Horizon Center made a four-hour-long journey from Fifth Street to its new home on Eighth Street in Port Angeles on Thursday.
People lined the street to watch as the building — which is as wide as the road it traveled on — turned tight corners and passed under power lines.
Crews with Jeff Monroe and D.B. Davis worked underneath and around the building as it moved, constantly making adjustments as it rounded corners.
It seemed slow-moving, but it took only four hours to move the building from 205 E. Fifth Street to its new home at 223 E. Eighth Street.
With the building moved, there is now space for the 10,000-square-foot expansion of the William Shore Memorial Pool at 225 E. Fifth St.
Steve Burke, the pool’s director, said seeing the building finally move was a victory and that he is excited that the Horizon Center now will be closer to Peninsula Behavioral Health’s main campus on Eighth Street.
Burke said getting the permits to move the Horizon Center has been anything but easy. The hope had been to move it last fall, but the process was more involved than Burke had anticipated.
“I got the house moving permit yesterday,” Burke said. “The challenge has been working with three governmental organizations and getting everyone to agree. It came down to the last minute, but it happened.”
Burke said part of the challenge also was that the building does not fit on the lot. An easement with a neighbor was negotiated to make the move possible, he said.
The most difficult part of the move was turning from East Fifth onto Chase Street. Crews had to remove signs and a pole.
Movers had only two inches of clearance when the building passed a cherry tree on the corner.
“That was tough,” Monroe said. “We knew it was going to be tight, but we didn’t want to cut any trees, so we shoe-horned it around there.
“We knew it would fit, but it was close.”
He said the building is so large equipment from both companies was needed to support the building and to move it.
“It’s been a little intense,” Monroe said. “I called my Seattle friends [D.B. Davis] in and we made a joint venture out of this because this is a lot of building and we needed their expertise to help us.”
Monroe said the building wasn’t very heavy, but it was bulky. Crews used three beams to support it instead of two.
They also used a double lead dolly in the front of the building and three dollies in the back. Monroe said normally they would have used only three; the extra two were needed for weight distribution.
The move went smoothly, for the most part.
When crews arrived at Eighth Street they discovered that a car had been parked directly in front of the lot for the building.
Police wouldn’t tow a car that was legally parked on a public road, so movers took matters into their own hands.
They used a front loader to lift the front-end of the vehicle while others pushed on it, moving it just far enough out of the way that the Horizon Center could squeeze past.
Peninsula Behavioral Health CEO Wendy Sisk and several PBH staff members watched as the building was delivered to its new location.
Some said they were surprised how close the Horizon Center will be to Peninsula Behavioral Health’s main campus.
“It’s super exciting,” Sisk said. “This process has taken two years to get to this point and it will be so nice to have these treatment services so close to our main campus.”
She said the move will make it easier for patients to get to and from their medication and case management appointments and they will still have access to the services provided at the Horizon Center.
The Horizon Center is an intensive day support program that provides life skills training and meals on weekdays.
Sisk said she is also happy that PBH is able to be a part of the revitalization of Eighth Street.
“It’s nice to see that after having some derelict buildings for a long, long time,” she said.
The expansion of the pool and move of the Horizon Center is facilitated by an agreement last year that involved the county transferring the property at 205 E. Fifth St. to the pool district.
The pool district has agreed to transfer the building to Peninsula Behavioral Health now that the move is complete.
The last chance to swim at the pool before the anticipated 10-month closure will be May 24.
It isn’t yet clear when the pool will reopen. No date has been set, but Burke has said he hopes the pool will reopen sometime in February.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].