First phase of plan to replace old Town Hall with new civic center
By Ann McCreary
The Town of Twisp broke ground last week on a new public works building that will house the town’s public works equipment and vehicles, and provide an office for the department.
The new facility is being built at the end of Riverside Avenue, adjacent to the town’s wastewater treatment plant.
Twisp has kept public works equipment and vehicles in a shop area that shares a wall with the Town Hall offices on Glover Street. That arrangement has caused problems because exhaust from the shop can enter the office space and the shop is too small to hold all the equipment.
Constructing the new public works facility is the first phase of the town’s larger plans to raze the 70-year-old town hall building, which is plagued by structural problems, and replace it with a new civic building that will house town offices, provide a community meeting space and function as an incident command center during emergencies.
Town officials celebrated the beginning of construction of the public works shop with a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday (July 14). The event was attended by Twisp officials and staff, the architect and builders, as well as state representatives Cary Condotta (R-East Wenatchee) and Mike Steele (R-Chelan), both of whom helped Twisp secure state funding for the civic building project.
“This is a historic event. Twisp never has a groundbreaking,” said Twisp Mayor Soo Ing-Moody. “The ribbon-cutting ceremonies will be really great.”
Twisp has been allocated almost $1 million in state funds for the project in previous state budgets. Ing-Moody said she is hopeful that additional funding for the project will be included in this year’s capital budget.
The new public works facility will cost $800,000 to build, and is funded by the Town of Twisp and a state appropriation for both the public works shop and civic building. The building is 7,200 square feet and will accommodate vehicles as well as equipment used to maintain town sewers and streets.
That will be a big improvement, because some of that equipment has had to be stored outside, said Howard Moss, interim public works director for Twisp. “Even in summer, you’d like to have it out of the weather,” he said.
It also took strategic maneuvering to fit all the heavy equipment inside during the winter, said Jackie Moriarty, the town’s clerk/treasurer, who said the exhaust often came into the main office space.
The building will also provide an office and lunchroom for the public works department, which currently uses a room built as part of the wastewater treatment plant for its office.
The new building is expected to be completed by October, Moss said.
Preliminary plans for the new civic building propose extending the building into a portion of Third Avenue next to the current Town Hall and closing the street to vehicles between Glover and Lincoln streets.
The town has hired Architects West Inc. of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to design the building. The total project cost, from design through construction, is estimated at $2.7 million.
Marcy Stamper contributed to this article.