The City of Moscow and Gritman Medical Center have announced that recent discussions regarding the Federal Building located at 5th and Washington streets in Moscow will not result in the purchase of the building by the City.
Since late fall 2016, The City and Gritman have been investigating re-purposing of the former federal courthouse and current post office for use as the location for the City's police station and to house other operations. The City has identified the current police station as inadequate and has been evaluating options for relocation.
"When we approached Gritman to discuss whether the Federal Building was an option for our police station, it seemed like a good potential solution," said Mayor Bill Lambert. "The building is located within the downtown core of the City and would be large enough to serve both as a police station and for other City uses and would have met our space needs for many years to come."
"The City obtained an architectural assessment of the building's condition to determine whether it could be used as a police station. The results of the study revealed that although structurally sound, extensive remodeling would be required to re-purpose the building to meet the requirements of a modern law enforcement facility. With the cost of purchase of the building, the project would likely exceed $11 million," according to City Supervisor Gary J. Riedner.
"The City Council has designated a new police facility as a major element of the City's strategic plan. As we move forward to address that need, we are evaluating all options to deliver the best facility at the most efficient cost," said Riedner. As the owner of a large public building in a great downtown location, it was natural that City would approach Gritman to explore the possibility of purchase of the Federal Building to meet the City's space needs. I know that both the City Council and Gritman were working together to provide a good solution for the City's facility needs, but due to the potential cost, the project isn't feasible."
Gritman purchased the building from the U.S. General Services Administration in 2013 for almost $2.4 million as a site to help accommodate the projected future growth in tenant and administrative office space. According to Gritman CEO Kara Besst, "Gritman continues to adjust its operations to meet the healthcare needs of the community. The purchase of the Federal Building and the construction of the new Medical Office Building across from the hospital are two ways we are working to meet those needs."
The City will continue to explore options for the relocation of the police station, and City staff is expected to bring further options to the City Council for consideration within the next several weeks. "Again, while the City is disappointed that the re-use of Federal Building is not a viable option, we will continue work to provide a good solution to the City Council," said Riedner. "While the investigation of the Federal Building was a major focus for the past several months, staff has been working to develop other proposals at the same time."
Besst and Lambert confirmed that both Gritman and the City of Moscow are fully committed to working together in a transparent and collaborative way that serves the needs of the community.
Story Contact: Peter Mundt, Director of Community Relations & Marketing, Gritman Medical Center