Tom Cashman of the Foss Waterway Seaport sent me this e-mail news release. I’m assuming the $750,000 he’s talking about was in the capital budget. The governor will take action on the budgets by May 19, perhaps earlier on capital budget because it’s all about “jobs,” dontcha know.
Governor, legislature deliver: Balfour Building receives funding for repairs
$750K approved for seismic work for home of Foss Waterway Seaport
TACOMA – Tacoma’s historic Balfour Dock Building on the Foss Waterway will get much needed public safety and seismic bracing now that the Governor’s request for $750,000 for the work was included in the 2009-2011 budget the legislature approved yesterday.
Built in 1900, the Balfour Building is located at the birthplace of the Port of Tacoma.
"We’re absolutely thrilled," said Tom Cashman, executive director of the Foss Waterway Seaport which leases the building from the city’s Foss Waterway Development Authority (FWDA). "It’s a grand old building, and we have exciting plans for it that will help showcase its tremendous size, its beauty and the important role it played in Tacoma’s maritime culture."
The 14-year old, non-profit Seaport is creating a safe, refurbished, historically accurate facility as a community centerpiece housing the most comprehensive marine education, maritime history and recreation center on the west coast. The Seaport organization is creating:
&bull A K-12 Environmental & Marine Sciences Learning Center;
&bull An expanded hands-on Working Waterfront Maritime Museum;
&bull An enhanced heritage boat building shop;
&bull An international business-focused meeting and conference center;
&bull Spectacular public space for community events.
An additonal $12 million in public-private investments is needed to convert the aging structure from one offering safety-limited public usage into a multi-faceted 45,000 square-foot gem complete with the Seaport’s vision for the project.
In Phase 1 of building refurbishment public and private resources of over $7 million were invested by the FWDA in 2007 to replace more than 400 feet of rotted original wharf adjacent to and beneath the building. The work was completed in May 2008 and prevented the wharf and building from collapsing into the Foss Waterway.
During the 2008 Tacoma Tall Ships festival, some 350,000 guests experienced the successful completion of Phase 1. Together with the 2005 Tall Ships event the venue is the site of the largest public gatherings ever held on a south Sound waterfront.
For more information, please visit www.fosswaterwayseaport.org.