Workers put the finishing touches on Everett Station

Workers put the finishing touches on Everett Station, a hub for transit, higher education and career help

By Theresa Goffredo

Herald Writer

EVERETT — It just so happened that the sun shined briefly one afternoon last week during a sneak preview tour of the inside of the soon-to-open Everett Station.

Rays of sunlight broke warmly through the four-story swath of glass that envelops the front and back of the building, creating a tranquil, almost sleepy aura inside the station’s massive atrium.

Not even a passing freight train disturbed the ambiance.

"Do you hear that? That’s a train," project manager Paul Kaftanski exclaimed, interrupting his own train of thought to point out the passing freight. "You can barely hear that train."

Kaftanski was right. The quality of the new Everett Station building can be seen and not heard throughout the nearly soundproof 64,000-square-foot structure.

From salvaged 27-year-old historic murals on the top floor, down to the soaring arches in the atrium, to modern sculpture that will dot the station’s outside gardens, Kaftanski pointed out each facet of the building with pride.

Everett Station is sure to be among the city’s landmark buildings. The $44 million project with the glass and brick exterior, copper-tiled roof, granite pedestrian paths and $1 million landscaping adds sophistication to Everett’s otherwise gritty industrial sector at Pacific and Smith avenues along the eastern edge of the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad Co. mainline.

But more than an architectural monument, Everett Station will conveniently join job seekers and job trainers in the same spot.

The station also will bring a first-ever offering of upper-level university night classes. And even students just starting out on their education will get the chance to earn the equivalent of a high school diploma.

"A large part of the building will be dedicated to the education consortium and that really is a good match for a number of our customers," said Fran Bradley, operations manager for the local career development agency WorkSource Everett.

WorkSource becomes a tenant at the station in April, taking over the building’s north side of the second floor. Also on the second floor will be the education consortium (or university center), with five public colleges offering upper level classes for students pursuing bachelor or master’s degrees in six classrooms.

The schools represented are the University of Washington, Washington State University and Central, Eastern and Western Washington universities.

Bradley said that Everett Station will emerge as a central hub of career and educational opportunities because the transit center caters to the variety of ways people travel.

"What’s starting to happen is people don’t have the same job forever and they may want to take another course in a different area or a different part of their field," Bradley said. "And this will be really great for our customers who won’t be running all over town."

The options for commuters who use buses include Everett Transit, Community Transit and Sound Transit. Greyhound and Northwest Trailways also will stop at Everett Station. In addition to buses, the station will be a stop for Amtrak’s intercity rail line and Sound Transit’s commuter rail line.

Plus, there will be 748 parking stalls for Park and Ride commuters, a taxi and airport shuttle area, and 15 bicycle racks.

But the city staff sees Everett Station as something more than an educational and transit hub. They see the beauty of the building, the gardens and the artwork as drawing people and possibly other development such as high-rise apartments and restaurants, to an area where people don’t currently go.

"Good people beget good people," Kaftanski said. "If we make the building people-friendly and develop it in a way that lends to pedestrian traffic and people who want to be here, that leads to a livelier downtown."

Other highlights of the new Everett Station:

  • There are 85 walkway lights with brackets for hanging plants.

  • The building’s glass-wall system was imported from England and is about 35 feet high and 40 feet wide.

  • The pre-cast concrete arches in the station atrium were made in Canada and shipped in sections. The arches are decorative but also help support the fourth floor. They stand about 45 feet high.

  • Drawn into the terrazzo floor of the station’s atrium is an artist’s rendition of the blue, winding waterway system throughout Snohomish County. Within the waterway system will be bronze casts of ships, replicas of vessels that once plied Everett’s waterways.

  • On the upper floors, visitors can sit on benches made of different types of wood native to the Pacific Northwest.

  • The Weyerhaeuser murals, depicting Everett’s logging history and painted by Kenneth Callahan, have been in storage since being donated to the city in 1974. They are being installed in the upper floors of the station.

  • The station’s fourth floor can be leased out for events. The 2,800-square-foot floor has room enough to seat 144 for dinner and includes kitchen facilities.

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