The Skagit Public Utility District is moving forward on a $20 million new facility to replace its aging Mount Vernon offices.
Sam Shipp, capital project manager with the PUD, said the new building will be located on the same 16-acre parcel as the current offices on Freeway Drive.
Shipp said the district considered whether to relocate, and was close to selecting a site in Sedro-Woolley. But he said using the existing property was the district commissioners’ preferred choice.
“The bottom line is, we found the most cost-effective solution was to stay where we are,” he said.
By staying on its own property, he said the district is able to continue using its existing storage buildings.
Shipp said the PUD is seeking grant funding, but can finance the construction costs internally.
The district is working on a design for the new, 32,000-square-foot building, and Shipp said construction should start in 2022.
He said the current facility, built in 1970 and added upon in 1995, is in need of HVAC repairs, and has gotten expensive to maintain.
“The big issue is the property is in the flood plain, and our current building doesn’t address that very well,” Shipp said.
Construction is expected to take about a year, he said, and will mitigate the impacts of being in the flood plain.