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County’s moving day delayed again

Kitsap County officials got an up-close look at the new Administration Building this week, as project manager Karen Ross took several elected officials, department heads and staff members on a tour of the facility.

Meanwhile, the county has again postponed the move-in date for the new structure, now scheduling the action for the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

The move-in date was postponed from its original Columbus Day target due to construction delays.

Since a three-day weekend is needed for the move, the last target was Veteran’s Day, but further delays made that unlikely.

The next window of opportunity, Thanksgiving, was made prohibitive by high labor costs, according to Ross.

Moving during the winter holiday will save overtime labor costs, she said.

The delay will give the county more time to get the building ready for occupancy after its completion.

“The new date will help us address a whole bunch of things that could become uncomfortable,” Ross said. “Installing video-conferencing adds a new layer of difficulty. And I want the new commissioners’ chambers to to be 100 percent working before you hold a meeting there.”

For this reason, the county does not have a solid date for the first commissioners’ meeting to be held in the new building.

The probable date for 2006’s first meeting is Jan. 6.

The new commissioners’ chambers provide a significant improvement over the relatively tiny, 47-seat room constructed in 1948.

Designed to hold up to 150 people with a link to the outside hallway, the new room features cherrywood acoustic paneling and will accommodate larger bodies, like the planning commission.

The chamber connects to a conference room, to be used for executive and work-study sessions. During this week’s tour, the commissioners pointed out the need for a restroom within that area, plans for which Ross immediately implemented.

The new building will house the commissioners as well as several county departments: Administrator, Auditor, Assessor, Community Development, and Treasurer.

The Clerk, Sheriff and courts will continue to occupy the current building, as will the technical services department. The building will receive an extensive remodeling in 2006.

Other new features include an interactive kiosk at the front door where visitors can enter questions about the building. The county will solicit input from staff and receptionists to determine the kiosk’s content.

The repaving of Division Street is about two weeks behind schedule, delayed by the connection of wires between the new and old buildings.

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