Interim repairs to the troubled Burien Annex facility have been completed, at a cost of $17,596. 

Costs to rebuild the converted, 1948-built former elementary school are estimated at $10.8 million over 20 years, with $6 million over the first six years.

As many of our Readers may recall, in December, City Manager Brian Wilson announced that the Annex was going to close on Jan. 31, 2020, based on a what many considered to be a speculative Facility Condition Assessment released by Meng Analysis on Dec. 16, 2019, which did not include any testing. A private citizen paid for testing that showed safe levels of asbestos and lead, but that was discounted by the city.

At least seven non-profits were set to be evicted Jan. 31, causing quite an uproar in our pre-COVID-19 Burien (read our extensive previous coverage here).

The city released test results Jan. 17 that revealed “unsafe levels of asbestos, lead, and mold in some areas of the Burien Annex.” On Jan. 16, 2020, the City Council authorized Wilson to spend up to $25,000 to repair the most immediate “life safety issues” at the Annex, in coordination with tenant schedules. These concerns were apparently addressed by the most recent repairs.

On Feb. 3, new month-to-month leases were agreed to by six of the seven tenants, with a revised end date set for July 31.

Meng was asked by the city to provide a cost estimate to rebuild a comparable facility to the existing annex rather than an improved facility.

“There are more extensive repairs proposed in the Facility Condition Assessment by Meng Analysis in December 2019,” Wilson said in his April 6 City Manager’s Report. “The total estimated costs for deficiency mitigation alone, not including a complete modernization of the building, Meng estimated $10.8M in costs over 20 years, with $6M in the first six years. These costs are high level and did not include detailed engineering design, underground utilities, demolition of existing building or removal and replacement of underground utilities, or consideration of facility design and current community needs. Meng estimated the cost to replace the two Annex buildings is $10.4M.”

The city says that priority deficiencies that were recommended to be addressed in the next six years are provided in the following $6M budgeted table. The site sewer repair cost estimate was provided by a different contractor in March and ideally the sewer would be replaced.

Priority Deficiencies to Address at Annex (Meng, 2019)

“At this time, staff is preparing a work plan to share with City Council at the next available study session,” Wilson said in his report. “This plan generally proposes to close and secure the annex temporarily, while the City conducts an intensive community outreach process. The community will be engaged to prioritize needs for recreation programs and other public services and determine if those needs would be addressed at the Annex site, at an alternative location, through partnerships or in other ways.”