The passage of the Capital Construction budget in the Washington State Legislature means several civic improvements will soon be on the way to neighborhoods in south Tacoma.

The Capital Construction budget, a $6.3 billion investment in communities across Washington in things like broadband, housing, environmental cleanup and countless civic projects in communities across the state, received unanimous, bipartisan support during the final week of the 2021 legislative session.

For south Tacoma and Pierce County, investments to the tune of $15.3 million will be made to things like parks, community centers, housing, higher education facilities and upgrades to other community spaces.

“It is so important to make investments like these in our community and communities across the state,” said Sen. Steve Conway (D-Tacoma). “The capital construction budget is about quality of life – these investments mean jobs and leave a lasting legacy for future generations.”

Below are details of some of the local projects funded in the Capital Budget House Bill 1080:

  • Asian Pacific Cultural Center ($1.5M)
    • Details: This investment will add 8,500 square feet to the existing structure that will include a grand social room with capacity to hold over 400 for large social, educational and cultural events, as well as rentals for weddings and celebrations. APCC also intends to grow its current offerings through language education and foreign exchange programs, visual and performing art exhibits, business services for the local community, residential and commercial leasing, limited service food and beverage attractions, adult education, and youth educational and career guidance services.
  • North Clear Zone, McChord Field Runway ($1.4M)
    • Details: A clear zone is a federally designated, 3,000-x-3,000-foot undeveloped safety area adjacent to the end of a runway, free of people and flight obstructions. This will improve public safety and reduce flight risks for pilots. The Military Department will leverage the $1.4M investment to obtain another $5.2M in federal funds, which would otherwise lapse and be lost without this investment.
  • Spanaway Middle School Health Center, Spanaway/Parkland ($772K)
    • Details: This investment will go toward renovation of space at Spanaway Middle School that will be used to provide medical, dental and mental health care services to students and the community. This space will serve an area where 70-75 percent of students qualify for free and reduced lunch. There are very few options for families and students seeking health care services in the area, forcing students and families to find services outside of their community. Close and convenient services will reduce the loss of educational instruction time.
  • UW Tacoma, Milgard Hall renovation ($2.86M)
    • Details: The 55,000 sq ft Milgard Hall on the UW Tacoma campus will house elements of the Milgard School of Business, laboratory spaces to support the School of Engineering and Technology, expanded space for the Global Innovation and Design Lab, a High Impact Practices teaching space and general classrooms.
  • Franklin Pierce Farm Agricultural Resource Center ($3.9M)
    • Details: This investment will complete this eight-acre educational site that benefits students in the Franklin Pierce School District and others in the community. The Farm includes wetland and native restoration planting areas, an orchard, and two acres of vegetables. It hosts daily high schools classes from each high school in the district, weekly Community Farm Days, weekly adult farming classes taught by Harvest Pierce County, field trips and farm visits throughout the season, and a community gardenmanaged by Harvest Pierce County that is open to anyone.
  • Arlington Drive Apartments for young adults experiencing homelessness ($800K)
    • Details: The Arlington Apartments are designed for young adults, 18 to 24 years old, who are experiencing homelessness, transitioning from foster care or are on the threshold of homelessness.

For a look at the complete list of capital construction projects in and near the 29th Legislative District, click here.