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Public’s Views on Northern State Sought

Members of the public will have chance to comment on issues related to the revitalization of the former Northern State Hospital campus at a community meeting scheduled for 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6, in the city council chambers at Sedro-Woolley Municipal Building, 325 Metcalf St.

The Port of Skagit, Skagit County and the City of Sedro-Woolley have formed a partnership to promote the development of a destination education, research and development center accommodating hospitality and commercial venues on the campus, which has been underutilized since Northern State Hospital closed in 1973.  This vision incorporates the possibility of locating the Janicki Bioenergy technology innovation center on the campus, but is not reliant on this happening.

At the upcoming meeting, attendees will be able to comment on the issues and opportunities that they feel should be addressed in the upcoming Northern State Subarea Plan and Environmental Review. The review will evaluate three options for the redevelopment of the campus:

  • No Action– continued operation of the campus as it is currently
  • Moderate Intensity Option– revitalization of the campus through renovation of historic buildings, removal of incompatible buildings and new construction
  • High Intensity Option– builds on moderate intensity option and adds more new buildings including reconstruction of historic buildings that have been removed.

Located just east of Sedro-Woolley, Northern State Hospital opened in 1909 to provide high-quality patient care for the mentally ill. The 225-acre hospital campus was a self-sustaining facility that included staff and patient housing, a dedicated reservoir, a lumber mill, quarry, steam plant and gardens. Designed by the famous Olmsted Brothers architectural firm, the campus included meandering pathways through forested areas, manicured reflecting ponds, and expansive views. Eventually, more than 80 structures and architectural ornamentation were built in Spanish Colonial Revival style. The campus abutted about 700 acres of pastoral farmland and livestock operations.

The hospital closed in 1973, and the agricultural land was subsequently turned over to Skagit County for recreational usage. The State of Washington currently owns the hospital campus, which is managed by the state Department of Enterprise Services.

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