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Comment Period Opens on Plans for Northern State Campus

 

The partnership working to create a new direction for the former Northern State Hospital campus in Sedro-Woolley has reached a crucial point in the planning process for redevelopment of the historic property, with the release of a Draft Planned Action Environmental Impact Statement for the project.

The City of Sedro-Woolley, Skagit County, and the Port of Skagit have been working collaboratively since early 2014 with a shared goal of redeveloping the campus into a local economic driver.

The Draft EIS for the campus, now called The Center for Innovation and Technology in the Pacific Northwest, has been released for public review by the City of Sedro-Woolley. The document was released on Friday, Sept. 18.

“It is important that the community is engaged in this project and we want to hear public comment. Feedback from the community is essential to the planning process for redevelopment of the property,” said Port Commissioner Bill Shuler, president of the Port commission.

The public will have the opportunity to review the proposed planned action and alternatives for future renovation of The Center for 45 days. The Draft EIS has been made available in print at the Sedro-Woolley City Hall and Sedro-Woolley Library, and online on the City of Sedro-Woolley’s website: (http://www.ci.sedro-woolley.wa.us/Home/main.htm)and on the Port’s website at: (www.portofskagit.com/skagit-advantage/north-cascades-gateway-center-project/)

A public hearing is scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 29, at Sedro-Woolley City Hall to accept comments on the Draft EIS. Representatives from agencies, affected tribes and members of the public are welcome to participate. Written comments may be sent to the attention of John Coleman, Responsible Official no later than 4:30 PM November 2, 2015. Comments may be sent by mail or e-mail to:

John Coleman, Planning Director

City of Sedro-Woolley

Planning Department

325 Metcalf Street

Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284

Email: jcoleman@ci.sedro-woolley.wa.us

 

The Draft EIS is designed to complement the Subarea Plan for the property with the intent to address environmental and community issues while reducing development uncertainty and risk.

The Draft EIS includes three redevelopment alternatives:

No Action: Continued operation of the campus as it is today.

Moderate Intensity Option: Revitalization of the campus through renovation of historic buildings, removal of incompatible buildings, and new construction.

High Intensity Option:Builds on the Moderate Intensity Alternative and adds more new buildings including re-construction of historic buildings that have been removed.    

A final EIS is expected to be completed by the end of November.

Northern State Hospital opened in 1912 to provide high-quality patient care for the mentally ill. The hospital closed in 1973, and the agricultural land associated with it was subsequently turned over to Skagit County for recreational usage. The facility was reopened on a small scale in 1978 as a Multi-Service Center for the U.S. Forest Service and Department of Social and Health Services. The State of Washington currently owns the 225-acre hospital campus, which is managed by the state Department of Enterprise Services.

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About the Port of Skagit: Guided by the mission “Good Jobs for Our Community,” the Port of Skagit owns and operates three key facilities: the Skagit Regional Airport, the Bayview Business Park and the La Conner Marina. Combined, these three facilities are home to 83 businesses that employ nearly 1,200 people.

If you are a reporter seeking information about the Port of Skagit, please call Andrew Entrikin, community outreach administrator, at 360-757-0011 or email andrew@portofskagit.com