Sequim to offer surveys about downtown corner space

Designs could incorporate lawn, sculptures

SEQUIM — City of Sequim staffers plan to seek input on new concepts for the downtown Centennial Place intersection.

JETT Landscape Architecture and Design developed three concepts — “Farm Yard,” “Flow” and “Woven” — using input from a 2021 survey and recent interviews and meetings with various city boards.

Hannah Merrill, Sequim’s parks and facilities manager, said staff hope to host an open house in December and offer an online survey for the month of December and part of January.

Sequim City Council members unanimously directed staff on Oct. 23 to survey the public and seek a final recommendation for the council for the northeast corner of Sequim Avenue and Washington Street. The city purchased the property, formerly known as the Gull lot, in 2013 for the city’s centennial year.

City Manager Matt Huish said with more than 1,000 responses on the playground designs, he expects the city will have a lot of input on Centennial Plaza.

Todd Bronk, landscape architect and sustainable building advisor with JETT, said reaching out to the public allows “everyone to take ownership of the work.”

Merrill said on Oct. 23 the goal for the three concepts was to make them as good as possible for a decision later on.

“Farm Yard” offers a porch scene along Washington Street with a “Welcome to Sequim” sign above swing seats. A lawn area descends going to the north and a stage with a covering and water feature. Seating would be on the stage, along a wall on the lawn and on boulders on the lawn. Also planned is a bioswale, a vegetated ditch.

“Flow” includes a large sundial that could also double as a spot for the city’s holiday tree, a “Sequim” sign, a pavilion/stage, a promenade and lawn through the site, seat walls and a lavender garden.

“Woven” shows a stage area surrounded by large sculptures that consultants said could be seen as fungi or waves. It would also include a sunken lawn area plus a covering by the business area and a walkway by the sculptures.

Consultants said people could have strong feelings in favor or opposed to the art, and if it moves forward, the city could choose an artist to create a design for the structures.

Each of the designs includes space for a holiday tree.

All options, minus their art and extra amenities, would cost about $2 million, consultants said.

“Farm Yard” and “Flow” would be about $2.8 million and “Woven” would be about $4 million.

Bronk said the goal is to shrink the totals more, but they are consistent with current rates.

Using the city’s general fund, the designs were budgeted for $50,000, and the city’s 2024-2029 Capital Improvement Program has $100,000 scheduled for continuing progress.

Merrill said in an interview that, similar to the park survey process, once a design is picked, they intend to aggressively seek funding.

At their Oct. 23 meeting, council members shared their favorites.

Both Mayor Tom Ferrell and council member Rachel Anderson favored “Flow.”

Ferrell said he liked its sundial and that the city’s holiday tree could go in it, calling it “classy.”

Anderson also liked its greenspace, seating and minimalism.

Council member William Armacost favored “Farm Yard” and liked the boldness of its “Welcome to Sequim” sign, but said he also liked all of the designs.

See a video detailing the concepts at youtube.com/watch?v=7rsZG3Sj6wE.

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Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at matthew.nash@sequimgazette.com.

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