Today’s Program: Ron Thomas, AIA: The Ongoing Efforts to Revitalize Downtown Olympia.
To see a slide show of the photos taken at this meeting, click here.
Meeting Called to order: President-Elect Wendy Holden
Invocation by: Jim Balz
Pledge of Allegiance led by: Lisa Poundstone
Song: Gloria Strait – America the Beautiful w/Piano accompaniment
Four Way Test led by: Judge Carol Murphy
Visiting Rotarians: Ron Thomas – Tacoma 8 and Anthony Hemstead – Maple Valley
Guests of Rotarians:
Pam Hartman-Beyer – Thurston County Superior Court Administrator
Kris Goddard – wife of Rotarian Jewel Goddard
Jill Severn – Writer, communications consultant and Panza/Quixote Village Board Member
Kyle Cronk – CEO, South Sound YMCA
Daniel Vining – Client Development at Thurston First Bank
Happy Bucks:
Jill Barnes – Introduced Jocelyn Wood, newly-hired Director of Development at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts.
Vida Zvirzdys-Farler – Olympia Downtown Association’s annual meeting is Monday, January 25 @ Washington Center for the Performing Arts – all are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Lori Woodland – During family vacation to Hawaii, enjoyed some great time together, including her son proposing to his girlfriend.
John Sabo – Please save the date – March 24 is the Rotary Foundation Dinner.
Stella Chang – Boys and Girls Clubs of Thurston County is proud to be a community partner with Harlequin Productions. For information on how to purchase tickets, contact Stella.
Lisa Poundstone – Birthday bucks, and excited to announce she’s purchased a new home.
Terry Anderson –Birthday bucks and relayed how wonderful it to spend time in Boise with family over the holidays, especially during the unique NYE “Potato Drop”. During the trip he had his first taste of Fireball Whiskey, too!
Gerald Pumphrey – Thanks very much to The Clemson University (and Football program), was blessed to have a four-lane highway leading all the way to campus. As well, excited to share his daughter is employed with a cutting-edge design firm.
Sam Bovard – The Books for Literacy program has collected 45 books! All are invited to Book Club events. And, shared his daughter is engaged.
Whitney Holm – pleased to welcome her daughter, Josephine Iris, and now excited to be back at Rotary after a few months off.
Sean Padget – Excited to welcome Jocelyn Wood as the new Director of Development to the Washington Center!
Honza –Enjoyed the NYE experience in Tacoma, but sad to be without fireworks. At home, on NYE it gets dark, but then light again (due to all the fireworks) and then dark (after the fireworks) as they celebrate NYE.
Jim Balz – On behalf of his father, thanks everyone for trying FireBALZ Whiskey.
President-Elect Holden – excited to share that the Big Geek Tech Award was presented to the Girl Scouts of America for their innovative use of technology.
Rotary Birthday Party – Feb 23, 2016 – many service projects will be coordinated during celebration week. Look for more specific information coming to you soon.
Rotary in the last decade – Olympia Rotary Club achievements:
-50 youth exchange students hosted
-130 Scholarships given (over $250,000)
-$18,000 raised in the global fight against Polio
Dennis AdamsRotary Moment: He joined Rotary to build relationships in the community and over time realized he had built a family through his rotary connections. Rotary has truly paid dividends in his life and has helped him understand the global impact you can have when working with a group.
Jim Haley, President of Thurston First Bank, introduced Ron Thomas, AIA and President of Thomas Architecture Studio to speak about revitalization of downtown Olympia. Jim met Ron during the work on the new Thurston First Bank Building.
Ron’s 40-year career has spanned many areas of urban design. In 1958 he first moved to Olympia and in 1975 he started his design career. Ron clarified that he was not actually a current member of Tacoma 8, but a former member and is open to re-joining a club in Olympia.
The focus of Ron’s program was the anatomy of a development project in downtown Olympia. He used current projects to give real examples of the different phases and process that urban design/development projects go through.
Step 1 – Feasibility (initial) – this stage is about looking for opportunities, assessing the competition and usability of a site and project. An example Ron shared was the work done to assess the usability of the current Thurston First Bank building.
Step 2 – Feasibility (physical analysis) - site/building information is gathered, code requests are made, historical research is done and the architectural concept/design is completed and plans are submitted to the City.
Step 3 – Land use review process (4-5 months) - application to the site plan review committee, public comment period and (ultimately) design approval.
Step 4 – Building permit approval –permit application/approval and a very complex review process.
Step 5A – Financial (through building permit) - pre-development financial obligation(s), site control/accusation, land use approval, design development/construction documents and building permits are all secured. This occurs at the expense of the developer without promise that the project will receive final approval for commercial financing. Ron pointed out that this is a very expensive aspect of land development, and there is no promise of commercial financing.
Step 5B  - Financial (construction and beyond) the construction loan, actual construction and then permanent loan can all be secured from a financial institution by the developer.
Ron gave examples of current projects and the various stags that each project is in: Olympia Federal Savings – Feasibility Study Phase
Thurston County Courthouse – Feasibility Study Phase
Water Street Redevelopment Project – Feasibility Study Phase
Tumwater Brewery Redevelopment – Feasibility Study Phase
To talk further about urban design in downtown Olympia, members were encouraged to contact Ron: