Updating the status of recent 12th District capital projects

Leavenworth e-news banner (002)

April 8, 2021

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Washington state approves three budgets every two years. These budgets (operating, transportation, and capital) fund day-to-day activities, transportation improvements, and infrastructure projects in our state. While much public attention is directed to the operating budget and its issues, including education funding, health care, and wildfire response, I think it is helpful to also focus on the other two budgets. The transportation budget garners less public interest, but its funding is very important to our region. The capital budget also funds many significant projects throughout our region.

Update on 12th District capital projects 

In recent years, the 12th District team has been able to generate big wins for our region through the capital budget, including the replacement of key infrastructure following tragic wildfires, the expansion of outdoor recreation opportunities that improve our economy and quality of life, and enhancements to key community response systems. Our legislative team has been able to leverage the capital budget to successfully fund many of our regional priorities, including the Wells Hall replacement for Wenatchee Valley College, Chelan County Emergency Operations Center, Twisp Civic Building, Winthrop Library, Wenatchi Landing sewer extension, Saddle Rock soil remediation, and a variety of recreation and park facility improvements. Click here to review a list of 2019-2021 approved capital budget projects. Here is an update on some of our recently approved capital projects:

Wenatchi Landing sewer extension completed

Wenatchi Landing sewer extension map

The Wenatchi Landing sewer extension is a key infrastructure enhancement for the Wenatchee Valley. The Wenatchi Landing area, once developed, will provide 283 acres of economic opportunities for housing, recreation, and commercial space.

The capital budget approved last session included $4 million in funding for Wenatchi Landing sewer extension in Douglas County to extend sewer infrastructure along Empire Avenue NW from 29th Street NW toward 35th Street NW. (The project's name and spelling are based on Native Americans who once lived in the area). I am proud to have sponsored this project and greatly enjoyed working alongside my House seatmates and numerous hardworking stakeholders from our area, including the Douglas County commissioners, sewer district, and port district to secure full funding for the project. The sewer extension is the first step of major infrastructure enhancements to this area of Douglas County. The Wenatchi Landing area, once developed, will provide 283 acres of economic opportunities for multiple uses including housing, recreation, and commercial space. The Douglas County Sewer District and its partners successfully completed the sewer extension in November 2020 and Douglas County is now planning ahead to consider future developments. For more information, click here or in this Wenatchee World article.

Cheryl Sutton quote
Dan Sutton quote

Saddle Rock soil remediation in progress

Saddle Rock

The City of Wenatchee, owner of Saddle Rock and its Gateway Trailhead, received a recent state grant for soil remediation. This work, currently being conducted, will clear the way for future trail improvements. (Peter Bauer Photography)

Saddle Rock is an extremely popular local hiking destination and also a park owned by the City of Wenatchee. I was proud to partner recently with Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz and members of the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust to help secure funding to improve Saddle Rock. As a result of past mining, any ground-disturbing activity needed to develop an emergency access path or other much-needed trail improvements could not be conducted without first removing certain rock waste and arsenic-contaminated soil. Thanks to the City of Wenatchee and its contractors, the first phase of this work is now completed with more work scheduled for next summer. The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust and its active group of supporters are ready to help establish a safer and more hiker-friendly trail, once the soil and rock work is ultimately completed. For an update, click here

Frank Kuntz quote
Curt Soper quote

Winthrop Library construction on schedule

Winthrop Library

The Winthrop Library broke ground in 2020 and is on schedule for completion in spring 2022. It will benefit Winthrop and the Methow Valley by providing modernized space for small-group study, community collaborations, and distance learning.

The Friends of the Winthrop Library (FOWL) has done a fabulous job sharing its vision for a new library. FOWL's outreach to the Legislature and throughout the Methow Valley has created an impressive opportunity for this community. The library is anticipated to cost approximately $5 million and has received a state capital budget grant of $2 million. This important state matching grant provides a partnership with library organizers who are still actively raising funds. The existing library in Winthrop is significantly undersized compared to the community served. The new library, set to break ground next year, will provide modernized space for the benefit of Winthrop residents and the broader Methow Valley community. For a complete facility update, including artist renderings and architectural designs, view this information pamphlet and this slideshow. I recently received an update from FOWL on the project. I’m pleased to share that the overall cost of the project is 98 percent funded ($2 million state grant, $1.5 million foundation grants, and $2.2 million private donations) and is on schedule to open in Spring 2022. (Update here.)

Jill Sheley quote
Shannon Polson quote

Wells Hall building replacement on budget

Wells Hall

The Legislature funded the replacement of Wells Hall at Wenatchee Valley College, which will include a new Chelan County Emergency Operations Center. Construction is expected to be completed in the fall of 2021.

The 2019-21 capital budget includes nearly $35 million for the Wells Hall replacement building on the campus of Wenatchee Valley College. The former Wells Hall was built in 1951 and was one of the oldest community college buildings used for instructional purposes. The new building will replace four of the five wings of Wells Hall. The remaining wing that includes the campus theater and ceramics studio will become a stand-alone building. The new Wells Hall will be three stories and over 70,000 square feet. It will include a conference center available for public use and 25 classrooms along with numerous offices and program spaces. Additionally, Wenatchee Valley College is partnering with Chelan County for the Wells Hall to house the future Chelan County Emergency Operations Center. I could not be happier about this partnership because the emergency operations center will benefit our entire region and is a facility that I have long supported alongside Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett and his staff. The new Wells Hall will be a tremendous resource for our college and community. Construction began in November and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2021. Please visit this Wenatchee Valley College website for construction updates or read this recent article in The Wenatchee World.

Dr. Richardson quote
Sheriff Burnett quote

Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center

Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center

The capital budget funded $283,000 for community space improvements at the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center for media, lighting, seating, sound upgrades, and possibly an interior wall to help facilitate separated meeting space.

The 2019-2021 capital budget included $283,000 in funding for community space improvements at the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center, which was a project I sponsored in 2020. As you may know, having access to adequate community meeting space is a growing concern for the Wenatchee Valley. The community has often relied upon the Wenatchee Valley Museum’s space for community conversations, forums, recitals, and other events. The museum has graciously hosted these important events and discussions, but the facility was not originally designed for such a purpose and is in need of various capital improvements. The state funding is intended to make media, lighting, seating, and sound improvements and possibly include funding for installing an interior wall. I worked closely with the museum’s executive director, Keni Sturgeon, and her staff to secure this funding along with my 12th District seatmates, Representatives Steele and Goehner. To learn more about this project, please click on this handout.

Keni Sturgeon quote

These are some updates involving capital budget projects throughout our district. The Legislature is finalizing its capital budget for 2021-2023, which will hopefully have additional projects beneficial to our district. I can share information about this budget in a future update. If you have any questions about the capital budget or other legislative issues, please contact me anytime.

Listen to my recent local radio interviews

Each week during the legislative session, I call our local radio stations to participate in live interviews about the latest happenings in the legislative session. If you'd like to hear my most recent interviews, click on these links for KPQ, KOHO, and KOZI. You can also listen to my interview this week with KPQ's The Agenda show here

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve as your state senator.



Brad Hawkins

State Senator Brad Hawkins
12th Legislative District
E-mail: brad.hawkins@leg.wa.gov 

Website: senatorbradhawkins.org

107 Newhouse Building - P.O. Box 40412 | Olympia, WA 98504-0412
(360) 786-7622 or Toll-free: (800) 562-6000