Dan Halme, owner of Davenport-based Halme Builders Inc., says the company will resume work in the spring on a $1.8 million project at the six-year-old Washington State Veterans Cemetery, located west of Medical Lake.
Halme Builders started a series of projects at the cemetery last October but had to stop for the winter due to cold temperatures. Halme says work will resume at the cemetery in mid-April and will conclude at the end of June.
The project includes building four additional columbarium walls, which serve as a resting place for urns. The cemetery originally had just two columbarium walls when it was built, Halme says. The cemetery is located at 21702 W. Espanola, and is three miles west of Fairchild Air Force Base.
The cemetery was established in a collaborative partnership between the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs and the federal Veterans Administration. The state provided 120 acres of land for the facility, and the VA provided an $8.8 million federal grant to design, construct, and complete the operation.
The site was dedicated on May 31, 2010, with the first interment taking place the following month.
“There’s a big demand for columbariums, and they’re filling in rapidly,” Halme says of the requests from families to store the cremated remains of their loved ones.
Contractors initially submitted bids for just the columbarium expansion. Halme says Halme Builders presented the lowest of four bids at $1.45 million. Additional work being done at the cemetery pushed the project cost to $1.8 million, he says.
Spokane Valley-based Meridian Construction Inc. presented a $1.5 million bid for the columbarium expansion. National Native American Construction Inc., of Coeur d’Alene, submitted a project bid of $1.8 million, and Newman Lake-based Wm. Winkler Co. offered a bid of $1.9 million.
Halme says his company also is working to improve the drainage around a specific portion of the cemetery and is installing some new fencing.
“Our portion of the work is limited to maybe about 4 acres total,” Halme says.
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