Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy and Councilmember Tim Farrell cut a red ribbon Feb. 27 to mark the completion of the new-and-improved East Entry Plaza to the County-City Building.
McCarthy and Farrell praised the project managers and workers for improving access to the building. Work began Sept. 15 on the $875,000 project. Features include:
- A canopy to provide shelter for people waiting to enter the building during inclement weather;
- A walkway without steps making it easier for the disabled and others to enter or exit the building;
- And a cross walk that includes a pedestrian island in the middle of Tacoma Avenue to provide increased safety.
Construction was phased so that disruption was minimal for citizens and employees who use the entrance. Demolition work was done on weekends.
The contractor was Beisley Inc. of Belfair, and the design work was started in 2005 and performed by Barnett Schorr Architects of Seattle and Vlahovich Design of Tacoma. The project includes a stainless steel art installation, called “Squiggles,” which was designed by architect Bud Schorr, who says it is intended to invoke the image of a school of fish as the fins break the water.
The project’s completion culminates a program launched in 2001 to update the 1950s-era building and campus. A $3 million improvement program was launched that included resurfacing of the building’s exterior and campus improvements including redesigning and resurfacing Nollmeyer Lane, adding a terraced walkway between Yakima Avenue and a new West Entry Plaza and reconstructing the public parking lot near the west entrance. That phase of the program was completed in 2005.