Graduate architecture students from the University of Washington have found support from the City Council for their proposal to undertake a preliminary study on replacing the Rainforest Arts Center (RAC). The RAC building burnt to the ground in October and the City of Forks has begun gathering input from the community on how best to replace the performing arts/retail shop building.
City Attorney/Planner Rod Fleck requested $5,000 in city funds for the students. He said the funds will cover costs of travel to Forks from the Seattle UW campus, and costs for copying, supplies and other logistical costs. He said the value of the funding is pennies on the dollar to the City when comparing the cost to hiring outside consultants. In addition up to $750 was allocated for a campus fee charged by the UW for the student project.
The students’ are to come up three to five models for a new RAC building following a series of community meetings focusing on uses of the rebuilt building, rather than construction details. They are expected to begin work on the project in April and complete their work by Memorial Day.
Once completed the study will be provided to the architect for the project to guide the physical design of the building.
Fleck called the City’s time-line “aggressive” for replacing the building, which could be completed in 2014 if everything goes smoothly.
Funding for such a study isn’t covered by the City’s $3.8 million in insurance coverage on the burnt-down RAC building, Fleck told the council.
The city council approved the funding 4-1, with Councilman John Hillcar voting against the funding.
The City Council approved leasing the conference room, and an office space, in the City’s West End Business and Technology Center (ICN Building)located on North Spartan Ave. The space is to be used for a “Pocket Library,” according to the council agenda. City Attorney/Planner Rod Fleck told the city council that a reduction in the usual square footage rate would be provided to the North Olympic Library System in exchange for services at the ICN Building including cleaning the leased room.
A renovation of the former bank building that houses the Forks Library could begin as early as this summer. Fundraising for the West End community’s portion of the $774,500 needed to pay for the project is now just $7,000 short, Friends of Forks Library Treasurer Ellen Matheny told the City Council at the meeting.
Division Street project
The City Council approved the completion of the city’s Division Street paving and sidewalk project. Most of the work on the project took place last summer. City of Forks Public Works Director Dave Zellar sought the approval and the final paperwork details for the project are near completion.
The Kalaloch Lodge is donating surplus whiskey barrel-type planters to help beautify downtown Forks. Mayor Bryon Monohon said city staff will help in moving the planters up to Forks. Pura Carlson from Chinook Pharmacy suggested to the City Council that the lots cleared following the recent downtown fire be decorated with the planters in preparation for the upcoming warm-weather tourism season.