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County courthouse renovation project a go



Architectural drawings of the courthouse renovation.

EVERETT — The county gave the ok to its courthouse renovation plan that will save millions of dollars.
The Snohomish County Council voted 3-2 to approve the renovation plan on March 27. Somers had proposed to renovate the old 1967 courthouse instead of demolishing and replacing it, which would have cost an estimated $160 million.
The now approved reno-vation plan is expected to cost $72.1 million.
“It is vital for the county to spend money carefully and wisely on behalf of our taxpayers,” said Somers. “(The) successful vote reflects our need to improve the safety and security of the courthouse while not falling victim to the temptation of throwing good money after bad. The public is best served by renovating the courthouse.”
The renovation will focus on seismic upgrades, new elevators, improved safety, and expanded space for court proceedings. In addition, according to the county, the renovation will include making the building ADA compliant, better serving the needs of those with disabilities.
The initial timeline for all these renovations is three years.
For the property that was purchased for the former new-courthouse plan, the county will soon decide what to do with it.
“My constituents expect us to spend only as much as necessary to get the job done,” said county councilman Sam Low. ‘We can give our law and justice agnecies the facilities they need by renovating the courthouse and save money in the process. It is the responsible thing to do.”
The 1967 county courthouse has never been renovated. Atlanta-based Heery International, an architecture, design, engineering and construction management firm with offices in Seattle, completed the initial designs for the renovation.
The delays for a newer courthouse, which began in 2015, stemmed from disagreements between the county and the city of Everett over parking, as well as the then-growing costs of an all-new courthouse building. The county council then decided to make the courthouse matter a renovation-focused project.


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