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Boeing building to be studied for possible museum location

The City of Aberdeen has entered an agreement with an architectural firm with local ties to perform a feasibility study into the Boeing building as a potential site for the Aberdeen Museum of History.

The Aberdeen City Council approved the contract for not more than $38,000 to Rice Fergus Miller at a special meeting Monday. During that meeting, it also approved a bid from Rognlin’s Inc. to demolish the Armory Building, which housed the museum until it was gutted by a fire June 9, 2018.

The purpose of the Boeing building study is to make sure the structure, located off River Street under the Chehalis River Bridge, is suitable to house the museum.

Councilman Jeff Cook said he was “happy to hear Rice Fergus Miller had the best bid,” citing the firm’s past work with the Morck Hotel and the local ties of the company’s project team leader, Mike Miller.

In the company’s bid package, Miller wrote that he grew up in Aberdeen and said his “heart sank when I heard about the Armory Building fire in Aberdeen. My grandparents lived across the alley from the Armory and I had many basketball practices with my St. Mary’s classmates there.”

Rognlin’s submitted the winning bid for the demolition of the Armory building, just shy of $500,000. Aberdeen Mayor Erik Larson said written into the demolition contract are two items to be salvaged for the city, both of which hold historical significance. One is the decorative arch above the window in the front of the building; the other is a newel post, an upright post that supports the handrail of the museum’s stairwell banister.

The contract also includes the requirement the demolition work be completed within 75 days of the bid award.