A report shows the state of public facilities in Camas
A consultant’s report on some of Camas’ best-known public facilities – including Camas City Hall, Camas Library and three Camas-Washougal Fire Stations – shows the town faces flaws construction worth $35 million, including $17 million for issues that city leaders are expected to address in the next five years.
Camas Director of Public Works, Steve Wall, presented Camas City Council members with highlights of the report at the July 18 council workshop and praised the work done by the city’s chosen consultant, Meng Analysis.
“It was a good effort from our consultant,” Wall said, “I like what we got—it was pretty much what we envisioned when we took them on.”
Meng Analysis assessed the condition of 17 buildings belonging to the town of Camas, including Camas town hall and its nearby “annex building”, the three Camas-Washougal fire stations (41 and 42 in Camas and 43 in Washougal), Camas Police Station, Camas Community Library, Public Works Operations Center and Town Mobile Office, Lacamas Lake Lodge, Camas Community Center, six sections of the Southeast Polk Street Wastewater Treatment and Scout Hall (located in Crown Park).
The consultant’s assessment team used a common industry scale to rate the condition of the buildings on a five-point scale ranging from critical to excellent, with intermediate ratings of poor, fair and good.
Buildings with the highest amount of “observed deficiencies” or issues that would cost more than $5,000 each and be needed within five years, included:
Town Hall/Fire Station 41: Consultants said this building, located in downtown Camas across from the city library on Northeast Fourth Avenue, would need $2.8 million in repairs and upgrades. by 2027, including $653,000 for plumbing, $527,000 for electrical work, $1.14 million for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, $251,000 for protection against fires and $238,000 for interior finishes. Another report by a consultant published in 2021 recommends replacing Fire Station 41 – the current headquarters of the Camas-Washougal Fire Department – within the next three years, as the building would not withstand an earthquake of 9.0.
Camas Community Center: The assessment showed that the historic community center (1718 SE Seventh Ave.), which includes a 1,500 square foot ballroom, fully equipped kitchen, reception hall that can accommodate 50 people and a small conference room , needs more than $2.65 million in repairs and upgrades over the next five years. Some of the center’s most urgent needs include $623,000 for electrical work, $577,000 for plumbing, $482,000 for HVAC systems, $298,000 for exterior closures (which include exterior walls, windows and doors), $252,000 for fire protection, $176,000 for interior construction and $118,000 for interior finishes. .
Camas Public Library: The report showed that the city’s 36,500 square foot library, located in the heart of downtown Camas at 625 NE Fourth Ave., has $1.76 million in “observed deficiencies” – including $644,000 in roofing issues, $488,000 in HVAC issues and $320,000 in electrical work — all of which are expected to be fixed by 2027.
Wastewater treatment plant (UV building): One of six buildings connected to the city’s sewage treatment that have been assessed by Meng Analysis consultants, the UV Building, at 1129 SE Polk St., has short-term issues worth 1 $.2 million – mainly related to $908,000 in equipment needs – which should be within five years, according to the consultant’s assessment.
The report showed that the majority of ‘observed deficiencies’ in the 17 buildings are due to code issues ($3.1 million), safety issues ($3.2 million) or efficiency issues energy ($4.2 million). About $6.5 million of observed impairments were categorized as “other,” while $130,479 were issues related to requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The report also showed $18 million in “planned renewals” or items that will likely need to be replaced over the next six to 20 years, including:
- $3.52 million in planned renewals for Camas Town Hall and Fire Station 41 (including $1.27 million for electrical work, $589,000 for exterior closures, $407,000 for roofing and $386,000 for interior construction);
- $2.46 million for the Camas police station (including $721,000 for exterior closures, $639,000 for electricity and $627,000 for the roof);
- $1.23 million for the public works operations center (including $296,000 for electrical work, $282,000 for exterior closures, $208,000 for HVAC and $157,000 for interior finishes);
- nearly $1 million for the community center (including $274,000 for exterior closures, $245,000 for the roof, $179,000 for interior construction and $167,000 for electrical work and $76,000 for plumbing); and
- just over $800,000 for the City Hall Annex (including $387,000 for exterior enclosures, $201,000 for interior construction, $98,000 for HVAC, $41,000 for plumbing, and 37 $000 for electrical work).
“Most importantly, this does not include any discussion of the use of the buildings or what we might want to use them for,” Wall noted during the July 18 city council workshop. “This is strictly an assessment of the structure at this time.”
Wall said it would be important for city officials to consider current and future uses of the buildings as well as the assessment report when prioritizing future facility projects.
“We did the assessment. Now the next step is… to prioritize those based on our needs and what we know is in front of us,” Wall said.
The city council could choose to put dedicated funds into a facility improvement fund, much like it currently does with the city’s pavement preservation fund, Wall said.
And city officials will need to have a “broader discussion” about the types of construction defects addressed in the report, Wall added.
“As far as fire stations or city hall, some of the improvements identified that we know we need to make just to continue to live (in fire stations) every day, but we also need to have a discussion wider on “How long are we going to be in this building? What are we going to do with this building? And we have projects, Fire Station 43 for example, that we can put aside for a while,” Wall said. “So it’s like any other planning document we have,” he told council members, referring to the facilities consultant’s report. “We need to make sure we’re using it appropriately and not just relying on that data.”
To read the consultant’s summary report sent to city officials earlier this month, visit tinyurl.com/66y5uaw8.