Station will ‘multi-task,’ Locke says at ceremony

By KATE REARDON

Herald Writer

EVERETT – For sake of keeping with the times, just consider the planned Everett Station a place where you’ll be able to multi-task.

That means doing more than one thing at the same time, Gov. Gary Locke said at a ground-breaking celebration Thursday for the $44 million transportation station that should open in December 2001.

"Our modern world is so fast-paced these days, we’re forced to multi-task all day long," Locke said. "It only makes sense that our buildings multi-task too."

Everett Station will be a place where folks can catch a bus, a class or a tip on a job opportunity.

Locke said never before have such diverse needs been met under one roof in this state.

Everett Station will also be an anchor for the redevelopment of the area near Smith Avenue and 32nd Street, Locke said.

"You’re going to see more high-tech computer companies come here," he said.

More than 100 people, including neighborhood residents, state and local officials, participated in the ceremony.

Wilder Construction, the company hired to build the station, will have crews start moving dirt within the next few weeks, said Paul Kaftanski, project manager who has worked on the station since 1993.

Everett Station’s 10-acre site will be a transportation hub for Sound Transit’s commuter rail, a passenger station for Amtrak and a crossroads for rail, bus, taxi and airport shuttles, as well as commuters with a park-and-ride.

Students will be able to take classes from universities including Washington State, Central, Eastern, Western and the University of Washington.

"We are going to be able to present the best of those universities right here in this center," said Larry Hanson, publisher of The Herald and a member of the state higher education committee.

WorkSource Everett, a career development service, and the state’s Employment Security Department also will be located at the station.

Everett Mayor Ed Hansen said the idea to combine the education element with the transportation station began with a visit a few years ago to Oakland, Calif., where a city-owned building offers a similar type of partnership. Hansen said the second light clicked once leaders saw the possibility to locate the consortium at the station.

Public art, a cafe and a meeting room that holds 200 also are part of the station plan.

Rep. Mike Cooper, D-Edmonds, said the new station is an example of the state’s future.

"I am proud to be from a county that has such vision," said Cooper, vice chairman of the House Transportation Committee. "Projects like this are what make Snohomish County such a livable community. This is smart, well-planned growth."

Convincing folks to get out of their cars and take another way to work is key to transportation challenges, Locke said.

"If everyone who uses the bus got back in their cars, there would be 350 miles of bumper to bumper from Everett to Montana," Locke said. "I look forward to the day we can cut the ribbon to open the doors to Everett Station, a center of mobility, promise and opportunity."

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