Formal Handover of Lewis County Sports Complex Building Could Happen Within Next Two Weeks

By Christopher Brewer, The Chronicle, Centralia, Wash.
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

July 10--A major milestone in the completion of a 76,500-square-oot indoor sports complex building in Centralia is about to take place.

Members of the Lewis County Public Facilities District, or PFD, tentatively plan to hand over the keys to the Northwest Sports Hub building on Pioneer Way in Centralia to its operators, Northwest Sports Hub LLC, July 22.

At the PFD meeting Tuesday morning, chairman Todd Chaput said there were "a couple minor issues" that contractors need to go through. Two bigger items, an elevation survey required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and liability insurance paperwork, are expected to be complete shortly.

"They'd like to complete it this week," Chaput said, referring to Kaufman Construction, a contractor for the project.

Chaput said the elevation survey would cost $1,600.

The Northwest Sports Hub building will be home to several sports courts.

The interior can accommodate up to six basketball courts, 10 volleyball courts or two soccer fields. The building can also be used as an event center for trade shows, large gatherings or concerts.

The handover of the building doesn't exactly mean it's open and ready for business. Some tenant improvements would still need to be made after the handover is complete.

Jenni Bodnar, who serves as the project development manager at Northwest Sports Hub LLC, told The Chronicle in a previous article those improvements would comprise the third and final phase of the building's construction.

Thorbeckes FitLife Centers owner and LLC manager Dale Pullin told the board Tuesday that the hardwood floor installation continues in the building, and a turf overlay has also arrived. Crews are also installing sound and phone systems, and estimates are coming in for bleachers, basketball goals and other items.

Both Pullin and PFD board members stated they hoped a grand opening ceremony could take place in September, with the facility having seen its first use before then.

Pullin also said he has been in touch with organizations who have expressed interest in renting the facility, such as USA Wrestling and a pickle ball association, for tournaments. Pullin stressed there will be a local focus on the facility as well, with the LLC hiring Jake Overbay to oversee and direct the creation and day-to-day operation of sports leagues at the indoor facility.

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"Our first big push is for local sports," Pullin said. "There are a lot of people who want to rent it for teams and leagues."

Northwest Sports Hub LLC, the city of Centralia, the Centralia School District and the Lewis County Public Facilities District created a partnership in 2010 to form the sports complex. The building is the final piece in the project, which has spanned four years and has already resulted in the construction of outdoor softball and baseball fields adjacent to Fort Borst Park.

Chaput said the board would have to call a special meeting beforehand and provide ample public notice of the handover, but if and when that meeting does happen, he hopes to hold it at the Northwest Sports Hub building.

"It's getting close to happening," Chaput said. "Once the insurance and elevation survey items are complete, there's nothing stopping us from handing over the keys to the building."

Christopher Brewer: (360) 807-8235


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