New Lakewood City Hall dedicated

A large crowd made up of local politicians, community leaders and members of the public turned out for the official opening of the new Lakewood City Hall.
The 75,352-square-foot, three-floor structure that houses a variety of city offices and services was dedicated this past Friday, Nov. 30.
Those in attendance enjoyed refreshments, tours of the new building and words of congratulations from various community officials during the dedication ceremony.
“This is a very special day in Lakewood,” Mayor Bill Harrison said just before the ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of the building. “It’s always been a community, but only recently has it become a city.”
Lakewood was incorporated in 1996, and ground was broken on the southern edge of the Lakewood Mall property for the new city hall on Dec. 4 of last year.
Just prior to the ribbon-cutting by Harrison, Lakewood City Council and Chamber of Commerce members, Lakewood Youth advisors Michael Chong and Christina Chan told the assembled crowd about a time capsule that would be buried on-site, to be opened in 50 years.
Harrison invited everyone “who’s not dead” to come back in 50 years for the opening of the capsule, eliciting laughter from the crowd.
From there, the building was officially declared open after the ceremonial ribbon-cutting, and people filed inside to the city council’s spacious new chambers on the first floor.
City Manager Scott Rohlfs, who said the $13.8 million complex came in on budget, presented Dale Irwin of Wells Fargo Bank with a key to the city for his work in bringing in MBK Northwest, the Portland-based company that bought the Lakewood Mall from Wells Fargo.
MBK is in the midst of remaking the Lakewood Mall into a smaller, revamped property to be known as Lakewood Towne Center. The redeveloped mall is set to open in summer.
“This is a wonderful facility for all the citizens of Lakewood,” Irwin said.
Others echoed that sentiment throughout the dedication.
“We are very pleased to share space here in city hall,” Michele Johnson, president of the Lakewood branch of Pierce College, said.
“We’re looking forward to a long, prosperous relationship with the city.”
About 2,400-square-feet of the building will be leased to Pierce College over the next five years, where courses will be taught.
“It’s a historic day for the citizens of Lakewood,” Elizabeth Brenner, Pierce County Economic Development Board Chairperson and The News Tribune publisher, said.
She described the project as “fiscally responsible” and an example of a “forward-thinking approach to regional collaboration.”
Lakewood City Hall Ad Hoc Committee Chairperson Paul Reeder said citizen input indicated people wanted the new city hall to be a “signature building.”
“That’s what’s been done,” he said.
In addition to city council chambers, the building’s first floor contains Financial and Information Systems and Municipal Court; the second floor houses Community Development, Public Works/Engineering and Police/Public Safety; and the third floor has General Services, CDBG/Housing, Assistant City Manager, Community Relations, Legal and Parks and Recreation. The building also includes basement parking for police and city vehicles.
“This is part of a better Lakewood today,” Harrison said.
Following the conclusion of the dedication ceremony, people stayed around to sign books that were to go into the time capsule, tour the new facility and collect commemorative coins provided by Key Bank.
Lakewood City Hall is located at 6000 Main Street, which runs between the governmental building and the retail center in the Lakewood Mall.