Capital Budget includes $40M building at Lower Columbia College, funding for local projects

Lower Columbia College Center for Vocational and Transitional Studies, Longview.

OLYMPIA – The Washington Senate Friday passed a capital budget providing $40 million for a new vocational training center at Lower Columbia College in Longview, $8.3 million for improvements to Cape Disappointment State Park, and other public works projects across southwest Washington.

The new 46,000 square-foot building will replace four aging structures on the community college campus, and will house the school’s welding, machining, manufacturing, information technology and computer science programs. It also will house College and Career Preparation program offices.

The new building is among $125 million in projects for the 19th Legislative District contained in the Senate version of the capital budget, one of three major budget bills Washington lawmakers will pass this year. Senate Bill 5200 passed the Senate Friday 44-0 and moves to the House for further consideration. Lawmakers also must pass operating and transportation budgets before their scheduled adjournment April 23.

“Lower Columbia College is a centerpiece for Southwest Washington, providing educational opportunities for the surrounding region, and it’s great to get the funding in the capital budget,” Wilson said. “We also were able to obtain funding for a number of other local projects important to our communities and state.”

For Lower Columbia College, the budget also includes $1.3 million for improvements to David Story Field, home of the Cowlitz County Black Bears semi-pro baseball team.

Cape Disappointment State Park allocations include $4.8 million for improvements to the park entrance and welcome center, $3.1 million for campground renovations, and $388,000 for improvements to Three Waters Trail.

Other major recreational facility investments include the Willapa Hills Trail, a railbed converted to trail use that remains in need of repair. The budget provides $2.6 million for surfacing and $125,000 for trailhead facilities.

Wilson said he worked with Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, to obtain an amendment on the Senate floor providing $2.5 million for the Lewis County Homeless Shelter in Chehalis. The facility, supported by local elected officials and community members, provides services to the homeless regionally.

Other projects funded by the budget include:

  • Beaver Creek Hatchery renovation, $2.7 million.
  • Castle Rock, North County Recreational Association Youth Sports, $256,000.
  • Cathlamet Skate Park, $96,000.
  • Cathlamet Waterfront Park, $86,000.
  • Long Beach wastewater treatment system upgrades, $330,000.
  • Longview, Cloney Inclusive Playground, $1 million.
  • Longview library capital improvements, $750,000.
  • Longview Youth Emergency Shelter, $330,000.
  • McCleary, Museum and Heritage Center preservation, $74,000.
  • Montesano, Grays Harbor County Courthouse renovation, $225,000.
  • Naselle Hatchery renovation, $11.5 million.
  • Ocean Park, Peninsula Senior Activity, $264,000.
  • Pe Ell, Lester Creek drinking water intake, $640,000.
  • South Bend library capital improvements, $673,000.
  • South Bend, Madison Street School Sidewalk Project, $175,000.
  • Westport Skate Park and Pumptrack, $500,000.