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What's next for Hawthorne Hall

The empty building will undergo a structural analysis


December 4, 2019

Photo courtesy of Madeline Coats

Hawthorne Hall was built in the 1920s and leased to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Snohomish Counties in about 1964. The building was vacated after the organization moved to another facility.

The City Council is discussing alternatives for Hawthorne Hall after the Boys and Girls Club relocated to a new facility. In determining the future of the property, the City said it needs an accurate understanding of the building's structural condition and cost estimates to address major deficiencies. 

The Council aims to make a long-term decision on the future use of the property, at 1134 Second St., after a structural analysis to determine the condition of the building is completed. The motion to approve a proposal by OTAK, Inc. was passed unanimously at a City Council meeting Nov. 25. 

"This particular agenda item takes us far back to the extent that it deals with Hawthorne Hall and the use of that facility by the Boys and Girls Club," Community Development Director David Osaki said.

Hawthorne Hall is a 7,492 square-foot building on a 16,021 square-foot lot. The two-story building was built in the 1920s and can be found on the City's historic register, according to staff reports. The property is owned by the City of Mukilteo and was leased to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Snohomish Counties in about 1964.

Osaki said the first study session of Hawthorne Hall was in June at the Rosehill Community Center, with the intent to enable council to do a site visit of the property. Several council members toured the building to observe existing conditions as part of a work-study session July 8. 

Following the site visit, the council directed staff to obtain a consultant cost estimate to make structural repairs to the building. Otak Inc., one of the City's on-call consultants, prepared an estimate of $49,751 for a structural assessment. This amount was presented to council members Sept. 3.

Since then, City staff and OTAK agreed on a revised scope for the project in the amount of $34,206. The primary savings come from the elimination of the architectural assessment component, as staff decided the expensive evaluation could be done without a consultant. 

Summary of OTAK's estimate:

• Project development: $2,426

• Structural assessment: $17,196

• Regulated building materials assessment: $2,500

• Cost estimates: $6,084

• Tier one seismic analysis: $3,000

• Direct expenses: $3,000

As an alternative to accepting Otak's proposal, council members could have directed City staff to continue negotiations for a revised scope with the same consultant or choose not to continue with pursuing the structural assessment.

The tasks focus on structural issues and not on incidental repairs, staff reports say. OTAK consultants said certain tasks are made more difficult by the building's age and the absence of original building plans.

The structural assessment report will include a summary of findings from the field evaluation, conclusions, and recommendations for improvements. Otak will provide a building inspector to collect suspect materials containing lead or asbestos to be further analyzed. 

"Depending on the outcomes or the findings, we'll dictate and determine how they will go about their analysis of the building," Osaki said. "If there's no asbestos or lead, then they might carve out or take out small portions of the wall and do some investigation in that way. If there are asbestos and lead, then they are going to use a more noninvasive type of work to do the structural analysis."

Otak will also perform a preliminary seismic analysis of the structure, he said. The analysis is intended to identify deficiencies that might prevent the structure from holding together in the case of a seismic event. 

The identification of deficiencies will depend on access to elements, such as foundation-to-wall connections, wall framing, and shear wall sheathing connections. Staff reports said limited access to these elements due to hazardous materials or other issues will affect the thoroughness of the assessment and the outcome of the seismic analysis report.

The regulated building materials assessment will be completed prior to site visits and any selective demolition. Cost estimates will be completed after assessment reports are prepared and finalized. 

Funds to pay for the structural assessment were addressed in the budget amendment Dec. 2. Based on the scope, work is estimated to be completed within three months of receiving a notice to proceed.


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