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Island Transit to hold open house Saturday

Island Transit will celebrate the opening of its new Main Base Facility in Coupeville Saturday, May 17.

The grand opening event will start 10:30 a.m., with a ribbon-cutting ceremony starting at 11 a.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.

This new facility is the result of Island Transit receiving a State of Good Repair grant, which “is dedicated to repairing and upgrading the nation’s rail transit systems along with high-intensity motor bus systems that use high-occupancy vehicle lanes, including bus rapid transit,” according to the Federal Transit Administration’s website.

Island Transit started in December 1987, in a 6,000 square foot building, according to Executive Director Martha Rose.

“It was just really horrendous conditions we had been working in,” Rose said, “but we kept a smile on our faces because we’re a great group.”

The new base, which includes administration, maintenance, fuel and wash buildings, is located on 13.84 acres, more than seven of which are in Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve.

“We built the design and everything about our project based on the prairie,” Rose said.

The new buildings, a combined total of 54,588 square feet, are larger than Island Transit currently needs, which means there plenty of room to grow.

“One of the requirements when you receive … federal funds is that you have to build the facility as if you are 20 years out,” said Rose. “This building will last 40 to 50 years. When you’re using tax dollars, you want to build something that lasts.”

The grand opening event will include light refreshments, speeches from U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson and more.

There will also be tours of the new facility to showcase the green aspects of the new building, the state-of-the-art technology and all the historical elements that were included, according to Rose.

 

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