Construction of the much-anticipated United Learning Center (ULC) planned for downtown Centralia has been delayed six months to allow project partners time to finish preparing documents the state Department of Commerce requires before they release $3 million of previously-secured funding.
“Progress is being made, it’s just taking a lot of time and a number of documents that we’re helping both … the Children’s Museum and United Way develop,” said Centralia City Attorney Shannon Murphy-Olson in a presentation to the Centralia City Council on Tuesday. “I’m hoping we’re getting closer to the document that Commerce wants so they can release the money to start the funding for this project.”
The ULC, which will be located at the corner of North Pearl Street and West Maple Street, is planned to eventually be a 45,000-square-foot, multi-story building with multiple classrooms, a gym, a playground and a capacity for 150 to 200 kids.
The first phase of construction, which consists of the Early Learning Center building, a multi-use activities facility and the first phase of the Children’s Museum building, was initially scheduled to start April 30 of this year, but will now begin no later than Oct. 1, with expected phase one completion a year later.
The Children’s Museum building is expected to be completed in the second construction phase, which will also consist of construction of a building for the Boys and Girls Club.
The Centralia City Council last reviewed the city’s umbrella agreement with United Way of Lewis County, Discover! Children’s Museum and the Boys & Girls Club of Lewis County back in November.
The Centralia City Council approved the allocation of $1.9 million in real estate excise tax, city funds that can go toward capital projects, in August to go toward the construction of the ULC.
Murphy-Olson said that the council should expect to see more documents concerning the project next month, alongside presentations by the Children’s Museum and United Way of Lewis County.