Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

Eastern upgrades

State hospital to get around $1.7 million improvements to Eastlake and Westlake


Eastern State Hospital in Medical Lake is getting a little facelift.

A series of construction contracts were recently approved for the facility, largely in the Eastlake and Westlake buildings on campus.

Gayle Bonnett, a project manager and architect for the Washington state Department of Social and Health Services, said the total improvements come in around $1.7 million.

Engineered Control Services, a Spokane-based firm, submitted the low bid for a $590,000 upgrade of security in the Eastlake building. Northwest Architectural Company with Robert Pennel Construction, Inc. are serving as the electrical consultants on the project.

The security systems currently in place have served well over the years, but technology has changed in the decade or so since they were last improved. As a result, maintenance if parts break becomes nearly impossible.

“The systems are improving so much that you can’t get parts any longer,” Bonnett said.

At the Westlake building, the second phase of an overall renovation is beginning at a cost of $593,000. NAC and Deneff Deeble Barton are the partners working on the project, with Meridian Construction, Inc. serving as contractor.

The renovation includes some flooring and electrical work, as well as replacing some kitchen equipment. Areas on the outside will also receive a bit of work, including spots where weather has deteriorated walkways to the point where it’s dangerous for clients and staff to walk.

“It’s needing replacement of a lot of the finishes and different construction systems in the building,” Bonnett said.

In addition to the two larger projects, a $419,000 undertaking will replace a mechanical dehumidification system in the therapy pool located in a building near Eastlake. The therapy pool has high temperature water used for patients that may not have a regular activity level. It also is used to build mobility in some clients that may experience health issues.

“We are disconnecting from an abandoned building and installing a new transformer for the therapy pool’s use,” Bonnett said.

The projects are all about improving safety and security on the campus for everyone there.

“In the end, this will provide a safer environment for both patients and staff,” Bonnett said.

Eastern State Hospital isn’t the only facility receiving special attention from DSHS. Bonnett said projects are continuously taking place at facilities throughout the state, at all different levels. Funding for future projects will be determined in the next biennium, based on approval from the state Legislature.

“We’ve submitted our budget request for the 2013-15 budget and we have lots of projects that we’ve submitted on all of our campuses. Most of them are just trying to do the same thing,” she said.

James Eik can be reached at


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