By Oscar Halpert For the Enterprise
LYNNWOOD – The sounds of hammering, drilling and sawing have faded as a remodeled city hall slowly emerges after months of dust and detours.
Since June, workers have added about 2,000 square feet to the 38-year-old single-story structure at 19100 44th Ave. W.
Work is expected to be completed in February.
Still, the bulk of the nearly $1.5 million upgrade — which adds a new lobby and traffic management center, among other changes — is mostly finished after seven months of construction.
City Councilman Ted Hikel, who served on the council when city hall was new, said he’s looking forward to a new meeting room next to council chambers.
For years, transportation engineers who monitor the city’s 58 intersections wanted more space to operate their traffic management center.
The addition of a special room set aside just for managing the city’s traffic means their wishes have come true.
“This will let us see more of the (traffic) images simultaneously,” said Paul Coffelt, the city’s traffic engineer. He’s one of five employees who will occupy the new 1,200-square-foot hub for all things traffic.
“They have fiber-optic connections from here to every controlled intersection within the city of Lynnwood and they actually control the timing of the lights,” remodeling project manager Keith Skore said.
As part of the city’s yearlong 50th birthday celebration, workers will install a time capsule in the traffic management center. The time capsule, the contents of which have yet to be determined, will be opened in 50 years, said Lynn Sordel, Lynnwood’s parks, recreation and cultural arts director.
Visitors to City Hall now enter through a larger lobby completed last month. Workers eliminated a breezeway that used to separate the main lobby from council chambers.
Workers plan to install new furniture for the reconfigured reception, utility and public works counters soon.
“We’ve created more work stations for the finance department, relocating the receptionist to a new location in the new, central lobby,” Skore said.
To make room for the new additions, workers removed three hemlock trees.
“We’ve replanted trees to replace those,” Skore said. “Plus we’ve done more extensive landscaping than we had before.”
There is also a pond in front of City Hall. It’s part of a newly added rain garden — a natural storm-water retention system that filters rain water.
Oscar Halpert writes for the Herald of Everett.