Like virtually everyone in state government, Peninsula College officials are anxiously awaiting word on the budget that eventually will emerge from the capitol in Olympia.
Included in the budget request is an item that might well allow the college to purchase the former Bank of America building to serve as a new home for P.C.’s Forks Extension.
Laura Price, capital coordinator for Peninsula College, said she can’t release the negotiated price for the building, but said the budget request includes $2 million for the Forks satellite site.
That likely would include both the purchase and renovations.
“Our intent is to buy that building and renovate it,” said Peninsula College President Dr. Luke Robins.
He added that the college is moving ahead in anticipation of purchasing the building, saying the school recently had applied for a conditional use permit for the facility.
The permit was approved last week by the Forks Planning Commission.
Robins said the building, which has been vacant since early 2011, is “in pretty good shape.”
He laughed, saying the planned purchase of the building has become “the worst-kept secret on the peninsula.”
Carrol Lunsford, a broker with Lunsford Realty, said the building is now owned by And Knives LLC, which acquired it in 2007. He said the company is owned by Mike Livingston, who lives in Spokane.
He added that until the building purchase is completed, no details are likely to be released. Once the deal is done, he anticipates a formal announcement will be made.
The renovations budget got a nice bump this week when the Washington State Department of Commerce handed out just shy of $2 million for energy efficiency projects, including $1,307,114 for the Forks Extension site.
Robins said the grant funding would mostly be used for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment and the new software to run it.
“We’re very excited to receive this funding,” Robins said. “Peninsula College is committed to energy efficiency and sustainability.”
Peninsula College was one of only six colleges to receive grants during the recently completed competitive award cycle and received the largest amount of all of the higher education institutions.
The monies received must be used solely for energy and operational cost saving improvements.