Heritage Center

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Frequently Asked Questions
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What is the current status of the Heritage Center?

The Heritage Center is now on a temporary delay imposed by the 2009 Legislature. The current recession slowed the pace of the expected revenue from the dedicated sources (see below). The Legislature wanted to give the project time to recoup some of that revenue and secure financing at more attractive interest rates.

The Heritage Center team is moving forward in the planning of the building as well as the programming that will serve visitors to the Capitol Campus.

Heritage Center programs currently in place continue to operate. The Legacy Project, an oral history project, is on target to release 10 oral histories this year of notable Washingtonians. Heritage Center exhibits are planned for display in the Office of the Secretary of State and the Legislative building during 2010. The State Library and State Archives are actively offering educational programs and workshops.

How much will the Heritage Center cost?

The maximum cost for the Heritage Center is $142 million. Modifications to reduce the cost are being investigated.

How is the Heritage Center financed?

The center will be financed using a Certificate of Participation (COP) and through private fund raising. The State General Fund and operating budget are not tapped to fund this project. A COP is a financing instrument that relies on a pledged revenue stream for payments on the bonds issued for the project. The Office of Secretary of State has developed a four-part financing plan to make payments on the COP, as follows:

  1. The state currently pays about $1 million a year to lease an inadequate and inappropriate office building for the State Library. The financing plan includes redirecting the funds now spent on lease payments to the Heritage Center.
  2. A $2 surcharge on certain documents recorded at the county. Ultimately, the majority of these documents end up in either the State Archives or a regional archives facility for local government records.
  3. A $5 increase in the initial, one-time corporate fee paid for filing articles of incorporation and trademarks. These records illustrate Washington's corporate history and are not currently preserved in the State Archives. Once the Heritage Center is built, these records will be properly preserved. Select records will be on display to help educate visitors about Washington's rich corporate history.
  4. Private fundraising of approximately $10-30 million will be developed to support the many public programs of the Heritage Center.

Will the Washington State History Museum be moved to the Heritage Center?

The Washington State History Museum will remain at its current location in Tacoma.

What is the design and construction timeline?

The Heritage Center could proceed on the following project timeline provided the revenue rebounds as expected and the delay is removed by the 2010 Legislature.

  • Design complete: Spring 2011
  • Break ground: Summer 2011
  • Move In: Summer 2013
The Latest Info on the Washington State Heritage Center Status