Courthouse Campus Subcommittee considers space and maintenance needs


A subcommittee of the Thurston County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) directed staff to explore additional options for space and facility needs that may differ from the current project plan of renovating the Thurston County Courthouse Campus.

The three-member committee held its first of four weekly meetings, Friday, June 28. The BoCC voted June 17 to suspend ongoing construction or renovation at the courthouse campus for 30 days and to form a subcommittee to research options to address building and space needs.

The scope of renovations currently planned for the site would not address the long-term needs of the county. The subcommittee consists of Commissioners Wayne Fournier, Carolina Mejia and Emily Clouse, with Fournier serving as chair. It will make recommendations to the full board after the 30-day research period. To date, no decisions have been made regarding site selection or constructing a new courthouse.

At the meeting, the subcommittee directed county staff to:

Research and present information on potential methods of funding projects to provide more space and address physical issues at the current buildings.

Research and present information on what it would take to keep the current courthouse campus buildings usable for the next several years as the county plans out a more long-term solution.

The courthouse campus, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia, houses Thurston County District Court and Superior Court, as well as several other county departments and offices. According to a news release, it was built in the 1970s when Thurston County’s population was about half its current size. As the county has grown, those courts, offices and departments have outgrown the current space available, per the release.

The subcommittee will meet weekly for the next three weeks, with its next meeting scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, July 5, at the Atrium, 3000 Pacific Ave., Olympia. All meetings are open to the public and will be recorded on Zoom.