Washington’s newly adopted $3.7 billion construction budget doesn’t greenlight construction of the long-planned and previously approved Washington State Heritage Center on the Capitol Campus.
The project, championed by Secretary of State Sam Reed, Senator Karen Fraser, heritage groups, and newspapers across Washington, is designed to bring together the State Archives, State Library, an education center, visitor experience, history exhibits and other features in a consolidated facility at the gateway to the Capitol grounds.
It was not in competition with other operating or construction dollars, but did need a final green light for issuing the “certificates of participation,” the mortgage, along with a relatively small increase in fees that Senator Fraser had requested. Reed, while disappointed, says he’ll vigorously pursue the project next January. The current two-year budget envisioned a two-year pause in proceeding with the $110 million project, but Reed had hoped to accelerate the process so the state could create jobs and save money because private contractors are giving excellent bids right now.
“We remain optimistic that our Legislature will move forward with the Heritage Center for the benefit of Capitol visitors and for all of the citizens of the state of Washington,” Reed says.