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Better late than never

The Kitsap County Public Works building in Port Orchard was recently renovated and is expected to open in early March. - Photo by Charlie Bermant
The Kitsap County Public Works building in Port Orchard was recently renovated and is expected to open in early March.
— image credit: Photo by Charlie Bermant

By CHARLIE BERMANT

Kitsap County writer

After more than six months of delays, the Kitsap County Public Works building is now scheduled for occupancy in early March.

The occupancy resembles a game of musical chairs played with county offices. The new administration building opened in August 2006, leaving vacant space in the courthouse.

This space was quickly allocated to public works and personnel, whose building was forced to be vacated for significant repairs.

The building now has a new facade that is suited for local weather, instead of the stucco surface it replaced.

Officially known as the “Public Works Weatherization Project,” the building had suffered years of moisture penetrating the building, damaging both the exterior and interior of the building.

The repairs were scheduled for about six months, but instead took a year. Costs, estimated at $2.55 million, increased to $2.65 million because of about 30 different change order, according to the county.

Some structural flaws were discovered and corrected during the renovation process, which contributed to the change order increase.

The building’s layout will be much the same as before the repair, with personnel on the first floor and public works on the second and third floors.

One exception is an outdoor deck that was used for cigarette breaks, which has been walled in and converted into a conference room.

During the repair, the two departments have distributed themselves to the Givens Center, as well as offices vacated by the departments now in the administration building.

Once public works and personnel vacates the courthouse offices they will be renovated to accommodate law and justice functions.

The county eventually hopes to build a new law and justice center adjacent to the jail.

At that time, the current courthouse could be torn down and turned into a park.

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