Kittitas Armory building open after years of delay

ELLENSBURG, Wash. -- Kittitas County has tried to fix up the old Armory for years. Delays led to firing the first contractor. That led to almost a million dollars in unexpected costs.

Years after the work began, the Kittitas Armory building is open for business. Tenants are already working out of the building, including the County's Noxious Weed Control Board.

"It's great to have a brand new place, we've had a few customers come in and everybody likes it, our employees really like it," said Todd Davis, Kittitas County Noxious Weed Coordinator.

Kittitas County Commissioner Obie O'Brien also likes that the renovation is over. He says it hasn't been an easy road.

"All the frustration, all the expectations that have been delayed, the costs, by nature I'm cheap, as a commissioner I'm cheap and I don't like spending money I don't have to spend, and that's the story of this building is we had to spend more than we really wanted to," said O'Brien.

Almost one million dollars more. O'Brien says the first crew missed deadlines and overbilled the county.
Work stopped for a year before an Ellensburg company took over. The job was finished in less than a year.

"I'm very proud of the product, the Armory is a good building, it retained a lot of its historical character," said O'Brien.

Besides office space, the new armory offers event space and meeting rooms. Just a few minor touches need to be completed before the armory can be considered officially complete.

But tenants have found it a worthy wait.

"We never got our hopes up too much, that way we weren't disappointed and when it finally happened we were pretty excited about it," said Todd.

There is an open house if you'd like to check out the renovated armory. It's open Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on East Seventh Avenue in Ellensburg.

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