Report shows state of Camas’ public facilities

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Top: The Camas Community Center, pictured on June 5, 2022, is one of 17 of Camas' city-owned building included in a recent consultant's report on the state of the city's facilities. Above: The Lacamas Lake Lodge in Camas, pictured on June 5, 2022, is one of the city's newer facilities, but it is still one of 17 city-owned buildings in need of updates and improvements, according to a consultant's report presented to the Camas City Council at the Council's July 18, 2022 workshop. (Photos by Kelly Moyer/Post-Record)

A consultant’s report on some of Camas’ best-known public facilities — including Camas City Hall, the Camas library and three Camas-Washougal fire stations — shows the city is facing building deficiencies worth $35 million, including $17 million for issues city leaders should address in the next five years.

Camas Public Works Director Steve Wall gave Camas City Council members the highlights of the report during the Council’s July 18 workshop, and praised the work done by the city’s chosen consultant, Meng Analysis.

“This was a good effort on the part of our consultant,” Wall said, “I like what we received — it was pretty much like what we had envisioned when we got them on board.”

Meng Analysis assessed the condition of 17 city-owned buildings in Camas, including Camas City Hall and its nearby “annex building,” the three Camas-Washougal Fire Department stations (41 and 42 in Camas and 43 in Washougal), the Camas police station, the Camas Community Library, the city’s public works operations center and mobile office, Lacamas Lake Lodge, the Camas Community Center, six sections of the wastewater treatment plant on Southeast Polk Street, and Scout Hall (located at Crown Park).

The consultant’s assessment team used a common industry scale to rate the buildings’ condition on a five-point scale that goes from critical to excellent, with ratings of poor, fair and good in between.

The buildings with the highest dollar amount of “observed deficiencies,” or those issues that would cost more than $5,000 apiece and would be needed within a five-year period, included:

City Hall/Fire Station 41: Consultants said this building, located in downtown Camas, across the city’s library on Northeast Fourth Avenue, would need $2.8 million worth of repairs and upgrades by 2027, including $653,000 for plumbing, $527,000 for electrical work, $1.14 million for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, $251,000 for fire protection and $238,000 for interior finishes. Another consultant’s report released 2021 recommends replacing fire station 41 — the Camas-Washougal Fire Department’s current headquarters — within the next three years, as the building would not withstand a 9.0 earthquake.

Camas Community Center: The assessment showed the historic community center (1718 S.E. Seventh Ave.), which includes a 1,500-square-foot ballroom, fully equipped kitchen, reception room with seating for 50 and a small conference room, needs more than $2.65 million in repairs and upgrades over the next five years. Some of center’s most pressing needs include $623,000 for electrical work, $577,000 for plumbing, $482,000 for HVAC systems, $298,000 for exterior closures (which includes exterior walls, windows and doors), $252,000 for fire protection, $176,000 for interior construction and $118,000 for interior finishes.

Camas Public Library: The report showed the city’s 36,500-square-foot library, located in the heart of downtown Camas at 625 N.E. Fourth Ave., has $1.76 million worth of “observed deficiencies” — including $644,000 in roofing issues, $488,000 in HVAC-related issues and $320,000 for electrical work — that should be addressed by 2027.

Wastewater treatment plant (UV building): One of six buildings connected to the city’s wastewater treatment that were assessed by Meng Analysis consultants, the UV building, at 1129 S.E. Polk St., has short-term issues worth $1.2 million — mostly related to $908,000 in equipment needs — that should be addressed within the next five years, according to the consultant’s assessment.

The report showed that the majority of the “observed deficiencies” in the 17 buildings are due to code issues ($3.1 million), safety issues ($3.2 million) or energy efficiency issues ($4.2 million). About $6.5 million in observed deficiencies were classified as “other,” while $130,479 were issues related to requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The report also showed $18 million in “predicted renewals” or those items that will likely need to be replaced in the next six to 20 years — including:

  • $3.52 million worth of predicted renewals for Camas City Hall and fire station 41 (including $1.27 million in electrical work, $589,000 for exterior closures; $407,000 for roofing and $386,000 for interior construction);
  • $2.46 million for the Camas police station (including $721,000 for exterior closures, $639,000 for electrical and $627,000 for roofing);
  • $1.23 million for the public works operations center (including $296,000 for electrical work, $282,000 for exterior closures, $208,000 for HVAC and $157,000 for interior finishes);
  • close to $1 million for the community center (including $274,000 for exterior closures, $245,000 for roofing, $179,000 for interior construction and $167,000 for electrical work and $76,000 for plumbing); and
  • a little over $800,000 for the City Hall Annex (including $387,000 for exterior closures, $201,000 for interior construction, $98,000 for HVAC, $41,000 for plumbing and $37,000 for electrical work).

“The biggest thing is that this doesn’t include any discussion on use of the buildings or what we may want to use it for,” Wall noted during the July 18 city council workshop. “This is strictly an assessment of the structure at that time.”

Wall said it will be important for city officials to consider current and future building uses as well as the assessment report when prioritizing future facilities projects.

“We’ve done the assessment. Now, the next step is … to prioritize those based on our needs and what we know is in front of us,” Wall said.

The city council could opt to place dedicated money into a facilities improvement fund, much like it currently does with the city’s pavement preservation fund, Wall said.

And city officials will need to have a “broader discussion” about the types of building deficiencies addressed in the report, Wall added.

“When it comes to fire stations or City Hall, some of the improvements identified we know we need to make just to continue living (in the fire stations) every day, but we also have to have a broader discussion of ‘How long will we be in this building? What are we going to do with this building?’ And we have some projects, fire station 43 for example, that we can set aside for a while,” Wall said. “So it’s just like any other planning document we have,” he told city council members, referring to the consultant’s facilities report. “We have to make sure that we’re using it appropriately and not solely relying on that data.”

To read the consultant’s executive summary report sent to city officials earlier this month, visit