The joint project between the City of Mount Vernon and Skagit County government to build a public library, community center and parking structure in downtown Mount Vernon took a leap forward in recent days, as the Mount Vernon City Council unanimously passed a decision to hire a project management company to oversee the design and construction of the project.
The City has selected OAC Services, a Northwest Washington-based company that works alongside various local architectural partners, as well as Lydig Construction Company. OAC has an impressive resume of successful community projects, and a reputation for their strong commitment to identifying and addressing the unique demands of their partner communities. The company will be responsible for assessing how those community demands can best fit onto the project site, located across from the County Courthouse, on Kincaid Street.
The early agreement with a project manager is a bit of a departure from the traditional “design, bid, build” format used in most government projects. Mount Vernon officials say the strategy of hiring a project manager ahead of conceptual design typically translates into higher efficiency and more thoughtful utilization of resources. OAC will also evaluate the options of phasing the project, and present these options to Mount Vernon decision-makers. The contract commences immediately, and OAC expects to finish the work of this preliminary phase by February 28, 2019.
A number of public and private funding sources will be utilized for this project, including the recent request for State funding that went out to Governor Inslee and state legislators in November.