Lacey growing from town to city, looking at infrastructure needs

Eyeing investing in public works, animal services, administration


Lacey City Council discussed the city's long-term capital facilities plan, specifically its investments in its public works operations, animal services, and administration facilities during their work session on September 8.

Lacey Capital Projects Engineer Ashley Smith said Lacey is transitioning from a small town to a mid-size city with its continuously growing population.

"You're (Lacey) really a different city that you were 20 years ago," Smith said. "And you haven't made a major investment in your civic facilities over the last decade."

As major facilities improvements can take a decade, Smith said, "it's important to plan today to meet the community's future needs."

Public works options

The Capital Facilities Board presented "alternative concepts" that the council can explore. These concepts are different investment levels and approaches that include components that can be mixed and matched.

The first concept is "minimal," which suggests using existing spaces more efficiently. This includes maintaining or making minor adjustments to existing facilities and will cost around $23-28 million in investments.

The second concept is "mid-range," which will take around $52-63 million and will address some issues by reshuffling spaces and doing some minor remodels.

The third concept is "all-in." Smith said this meets most needs and support services into the future. This concept involves extensive remodels, new constructions, or relocation of some facilities And includes the construction of a new multi-story crew and operations buildings that costs around $56-68 million.

Animal services

Lacey Parks Culture and Recreation Director Jennifer Burbidge reported that the aging facility for the Animal Services is not "purpose-built" as its spaces are undersized and inadequate for operations and industry standards of care.

Burbidge said they recommend constructing a new shelter with an administration area and kennels, a veterinary with treatment and isolation, a shop with laundry and grooming, and a covered outdoor exercise space and storage.

Burbidge said the cost estimate range for this investment is $18-23 million.


Burbidge said Lacey's city hall is aging as it has inefficient space use and an "awkward layout with some surplus square footage."

The central and east wings of the city hall require significant investment to "upgrade systems, meet current code and modernize workspace," she added.

Burbidge reported that the initial options to upgrade the city hall ranged from $12-55M, and this high cost caused the staff to reassess further. She added that further discussion is still needed with various departments occupying the administration building to clarify cost-effective approaches to address current and future issues.


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