Preliminary construction work on the new Klickitat County West End Pioneer Center will soon begin. Before it does, however, some county agencies will have to move out of their existing facilities.
The Klickitat County Sheriff's Office (West End) and Klickitat County Senior Services are both currently located at opposite ends of the lot across from the White Salmon post office, where the Pioneer Center building will be going up.
"They want to get us moved out by Nov. 1," said Sheriff Chris Mace. "They have to tear the house down. That's one of the first things to go, so the trucks and other equipment can get in and out of the site OK."
KCSO and Senior Services will move to 136 N. Main, the former medical clinic facility just up the street from White Salmon City Hall. The building is currently being renovated to make it more "office-friendly" to the new tenants.
The West End Sheriff's Office is located in a small house at 153 NE East in White Salmon. That house will be torn down. The same is true for the Senior Services center at 157 NE East.
The new Pioneer Center is planned as a two-story, 24,000 square foot facility that will house a county services annex, a community senior center, Senior Services, and the county's Health Department.
In phase two, the Sheriff's Office will be moved into the building, along with West District Court, the Klickitat County Personnel Department, and the county's Adult Probation and Juvenile Probation departments.
There is no specific timeline for completion of "phase two" of the project.
The county has signed a one-year lease agreement with David Crumpacker, owner of the N. Main building.
"The county has approved a lease agreement to pay $1,400 a month for one year," explained County Commissioner Don Struck.
Struck said the building has 2,100 square feet of space.
"It might be a little tight, but it was the best we could find," Struck said.
However, Mace and Gadway both expressed confidence the temporary location will not be a problem.
"I believe it'll work for us," said Sheriff Chris Mace. "It look like enough room, and it'll be fine."
"It's going to be a little tight, but we'll make it work until we get to the new place," Gadway said.
Struck added that he was hopeful the building would be needed for only one year, because the Pioneer Center construction project will soon be in high gear.
"We plan to move into the new building by Halloween next year," Struck said.
If the weather is not severe, construction crews may continue working through the winter.
According to Gadway, the project's architect -- Scott/Edwards Architecture of Portland -- said they get better bids in the winter.
"Contractors are looking for construction they can stay busy on through the winter," Gadway said.
Gadway pointed out that he was more than willing to put up with a bit of inconvenience.
"I'm looking beyond the temporary move to the next move -- into the new building," he said.