Designs for larger Forks arts center to be shown

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

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FORKS –– Conceptual designs for the new Rainforest Arts Center, which will have twice the footprint of the burned building it will replace, will be on display today.

Rod Fleck, city attorney and planner, said architect NAC of Seattle will show off its design for the new arts center, or RAC, in the City Council chambers at City Hall, 500 E. Division St., from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and during the homecoming football game at 6:30 p.m.

The plans will be displayed inside Forks High School at 261 Spartan Ave. next to the wooden Spartan statue.

During today’s presentation, architects may incorporate design suggestions they receive from people into the final design of the building.

The new building will replace the old RAC, which burned in October.

The city received a $2.64 million insurance settlement to rebuild the arts center after it burned.

Fleck said the construction budget for the new building is $2.1 million.

This version will be 1 stories tall, Fleck said, and cover the two lots at the corner of Forks Avenue and Division Street.

Originally, the city was planning a two-story building on the single lot that housed the RAC, formerly the lodge for the International Order of Odd Fellows.

Council deal closes

The corner lot, a former pharmacy and last home of the Forks Dazzled by Twilight store, was turned over to the city Wednesday after the West Olympic Council of the Arts closed its purchase of the lot at the corner from Alaska Financial Co. and deeded the property to the city.

Ellen Matheny, a member of the arts council’s board, reported that the sale, agreed upon two weeks ago, was finalized Wednesday.

“Everything is done — signed, sealed and delivered,” Matheny said.

Paul Pagac of Forks Avenue Real Estate, who brokered the sale, said Thursday the final purchase price was $60,000.

The lot originally was listed at $71,500.

The arts council in August offered $35,000 and received a counter of $71,000.

Matheny told the Forks Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday that an anonymous donor had given the arts council the final funding it needed to close the purchase.

Final design

Final design of the RAC will be unveiled to a joint meeting of the West End Business and Professionals Association and the Forks Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 23 in the Department of Natural Resources conference room, 411 Tillicum Lane.

Fleck said the city hopes to put construction of the building out for bids in early January, with construction slated to begin in April.

The goal is to have the new RAC open by April 2015.


Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at

Last modified: September 26. 2013 5:32PM
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