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Published: Sunday, August 31, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
Snohomish County


Courthouse project needs revamping

Do you recall the controversy over spending $17 million to build the new Everett School District administration building rather than putting that money into upgrades on current facilities or the classrooms?
When one of our new legislators went to Olympia a couple of years ago, discussions about Common Core were shut down immediately with: “That train has left the station!”
No matter how many hearings there are or how many objections there are or how many studies show that the Smith Island Project does not accomplish its' purported goal — saving fish — one gets the impression that — “that train has left the station!”
About the proposed new Snohomish County Courthouse: In May, Councilman Ken Klein was quoted in a KOMO news report as saying, “It's hard to stop a train that's already left the station!”
Do you see a pattern here?
Noah Hagland's Wednesday article on Wednesday, “Architects say county courthouse construction on track” says: “Snohomish County's future courthouse won't go over budget, architects assured county leaders.” As the article states, the architectural firm was changed due to fears that the cost would exceed a $162 million price tag that already has created sticker shock. Has there ever been a government project that didn't go over budget?
This project has already been poorly managed and ground hasn't even been broken yet. There is a new architect firm. What are the current expenses attributed to the old firm? Since it was not included in the original plan, how will the transfer of inmates be handled?
Why do we need a new courthouse? “The jury box sways back and forth. People get stuck in the elevator. In 1967 no one thought about the Americans with Disabilities Act.” These items could have been managed without a new courthouse! And, if not, why not stick to the original plan, which would save millions by building on county property? (“In 2013 the Snohomish County Council voted in favor of spending $75 million for construction to take place on an open plaza in front of the current courthouse.”)
Oh, that's right! That train has left the station!
Jeannette Sumpter
Bothell
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

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