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New water-sewer buildings going up like spring weeds

Work on the new Annapolis Water/ Karcher Creek Sewer districts building is about one-third done, and everyone appears thrilled with the results thus far.

“I go over there at least once a week,” said Karcher Creek General Manager Dick Fitzwater. “It’s looking good so far.”

Since construction began in December, the most noticeable work has been done on the administration building, which fronts Lund Avenue, and the crew building, which sits just behind it. Both buildings are almost completely framed — roofing goes on and utilities go in starting this week.

However, this is just the beginning for the site. As soon as the roofers and framers leave, the pavers and landscapers will come in. Three pre-engineered steel buildings will also be erected behind the crew building for use as garages and workshops.

“I think things are going really well,” said project manager Loren Pease, of Tacoma-based Pease Construction. “It’s a fun project to work on.”

Apart from construction on-site, Lund will also need to be widened — a portion of the project slated to begin in the next few weeks.

Pease said it’s largely a matter of bringing the already wide shoulder up to specs, although a left-turn lane for better campus access will need to be added. He said there will likely be some traffic impacts, largely from barricades erected to protect work crews from passing cars, but he expects it to be minimal.

“We’re not anticipating closing any major lanes,” Pease said.

The project, which is expected to be complete by mid-summer, suffered one major delay from the bizarre weather Kitsap County lately suffered. Crews lost a week due to snowfall, and are now having to work several aspects of the project at once to catch up.

However, Pease expects to be able to make the projected move-in date of late July.

The $2.86 million complex will consist of nearly 30,000 square feet of office, work and storage space. The 8,100 square-foot administrations building will have a number of special amenities, including a 50-person public meeting room, an engineering map room for layout drawing storage and a fire-rated file room for secure records storage.

The 8,800 square-foot operations facility will have lockers, showers and laundry facilities for employees, as well as an indoor vehicle maintenance bay.

Although the two districts have never before shared facilities, it was seen as the most cost-effective solution to both their housing problems. The current water and sewer district buildings were on the verge of being unusable. Neither building was designed to be earthquake resistant and both were deteriorating rapidly. It is estimated the two districts saved approximately $300,000 by combining their resources and building a single set of facilities.

“I think it’s going to be really nice,” said Annapolis Water Commissioner Jeannie Screws.

Karcher Creek has already sold their old building to Fire District 7, which plans to rent out part of the property and convert the other part to a training area. Fitzwater said Annapolis is still trying to find a buyer for their building.

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