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Pierce County Skills Center - Puyallup, Washington

Sitts & Hill Engineers, Inc. began working with Bethel School District to assess properties suitable for development of a large vocational facility for high school students. Several sites were identified and evaluated based on size, zoning, cost, environmental impacts, etc. (As part of our survey support function, the initial site review process included gathering of GIS data, property/title information and other existing conditions information). The District selected the site and then contracted Sitts & Hill to provide ALTA, boundary, and topographic surveying for the property. This 10.5-acre site included a 38,000 square-foot existing building and associated site improvements that required accurate mapping and utility research to allow the design team to move forward with design on a new 23,000 square-foot vocational training center.

After acquisition of real estate, the Bethel School District hired BLRB Architects to complete programming, design, and construction support for the multi-phased, fast-track project. At the owner's request, Sitts & Hill was selected to provide civil engineering design. The project's site infrastructure including domestic water, storm drainage, sanitary sewer, and natural gas were designed from the start to allow for phased construction and future expansion. Although the permitting was unique and challenging and the proposed work involved many municipalities (Tacoma Water, Pierce County, Elmhurst Mutual Power, Puget Sound Energy, etc.), all permits were secured within three months.

In conjunction with the design process, Sitts & Hill provided extensive survey support for this project. Sitts & Hill was tasked with identifying and resolving property line questions and encroachment issues where neighboring improvements, such as propane tanks, retaining walls, fences, etc., were constructed on the subject property. It was also necessary to revise existing short plats to amend conditions of approval that restricted the necessary use of the property. Sitts & Hill prepared the legal descriptions for adjacent street right-of-way dedication for on-site water and sanitary sewer easements.

In addition to the necessary construction plans and specifications, Sitts & Hill provided detailed cost estimates for each phase of work and prepared reports for erosion control, drainage, operations and maintenance, and pollution prevention. Sitts & Hill also participated in the Washington Sustainable Schools Protocol for the facility, which is a State program similar to LEED® for evaluating sustainable design. Following a grand opening in September, 2010, this project successfully began serving the residents of Pierce County.

Check out this video of the grand opening of Phase 2 in October, 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIeznJI94vA