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City Council to review $64M Community Justice Center proposal Monday

By Erin Freeman  |  Lynnwood Times Staff

Lynnwood, Wash., March 7, 2021 – Set to be completed in 2023, the $64 million Community Justice Center project includes the rebuilding of the existing police department, re-imagining the misdemeanor jail, a remodeled court while expanding east to the adjacent vacant, city-owned wooded area. The expansion of the lot will connect the police station to the neighboring Community Health Center of Snohomish County (CHCSC), allowing for a direct partnership of services aimed at reducing recidivism. 

The city council is scheduled to review the proposed bond ordinance at its March 8 business meeting.

“There are significant benefits we believe we can bring with this kind of reimagined misdemeanor housing facility and our Community partnerships that we are already engaging with and [we] look forward to enhancing them as we move forward,” said LPD Chief Jim Nelson. 

As of March 1, 90% of the construction’s documents have been reviewed and will be submitted for the approval of permits at the end of the month. 

Source: Mackenzie Architects.

Brett Hanson from Mackenzie Architects – the company contracted to design the facility on September 9, 2019 – explained that construction will be broken into two primary phases, with phase one being the more significant with a longerduration through September of 2022. It will include the demolition of the existing jail, demolition site work, utility work, and building the new police department. 

Design plans for the proposed police department include a 37,000-square-foot, three-level facility with a lobby and multi-use space on the first floor, and an emergency operation center serving a dual purpose as a community room. The 29,000 square-foot split level design municipal jail will be partly located under the police station with the other level located north of the station.

Source: Mackenzie Architects.

The second phase of construction will consist of the tenant improvement work for the municipal court, expanding it into an 18,000 square foot facility. The total building area of the community justice center will be 84,750 square feet. Construction will go through February 2023. 

Direct construction costs are estimated at $45.7 million, with an additional $18.3 million to be spent on finishing touches and mandatory inspections.

Source: PFM Financial Advisors, LLC.

City Financial Advisors then reviewed with the council Lynnwood’s debt capacity and sources of repayment. According to the 2021 assessed value, around $119 million of non-voting capacity can be leveraged without voter approval. The city could commit to $79.6 million in debt after consideration of the debt accumulated from the Convention Center and Recreation Center. 

“There is…sufficient room to finance $60 million of project costs while remaining under the city’s capacity limits,” explained financial consultant Steven Amano.

Source: PFM Financial Advisors, LLC.

According to PFM Financial Advisors, the City anticipates paying the debt on the Justice Center Bonds with the following repayment sources:

  • Net budget expenditure reductions by no longer outsource bed space
  • Reapportion existing criminal justice sales tax
  • Revenues from providing CJC bed space to surrounding jurisdictions

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