Spokane Journal of Business

Excelsior Wellness plans $7.4 million campus upgrade

Clean Buildings standards add $3M to project costs at North Spokane campus

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Spokane-based nonprofit Excelsior Wellness plans a $7.4 million expansion and remodel at its 56,000-square-foot campus at 3754 W. Indian Trail Road, in North Spokane, in an effort to increase access to services and to meet Washington state’s Clean Buildings Act standards.

Lynn Suksdorf, vice president of acquisitions and alignment at Excelsior, says the nonprofit had planned a remodel of its campus to be in line with trauma-informed architecture styles when the Clean Buildings Act, also known as House Bill 1257, was signed into law in 2019 and created an additional need to remodel.

The initial project had an estimated cost of about $4.5 million. The remodel plans call for a 1,500-square-foot expansion of Excelsior’s family medicine clinic, which will add three exam rooms, for a total of six, at the Indian Trail facility. The clinic expansion also will improve outpatient care for youth and the Wrap Around Services Program, Suksdorf says.

Design plans for the building remodel will include removing walls to bring in natural light and views of an arboretum, which is in progress at the campus.

In addition to the building remodel, Excelsior plans to meet the Clean Buildings Act standards. Excelsior has plans to upgrade its heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems, along with its mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems at an additional cost of about $2.9 million. 

The total projected cost of the remodel, including the clean building standards upgrades, is about $7.4 million.

Washington state’s Clean Buildings Act aims to reduce pollution from fossil fuel consumption in the state’s large commercial buildings. Buildings between 50,000 square feet and 90,001 square feet have until June 1, 2028, to come into compliance. The Department of Commerce has developed an energy performance standard and offers incentives to property owners to improve energy efficiency.

“All of a sudden, we’re doing this remodel, and now we have these criteria by the state to improve our energy use and efficiencies,” Suksdorf explains. “We brought McKinstry in to help us design efficient upgrades necessary to meet the efficiency requirements.”

Excelsior recently has been awarded a $500,000 grant from The Sunderland Foundation, of Overland Park, Kansas, to help offset the cost of the environmental upgrades.

Seattle-based McKinstry Co. is the energy systems design firm that will design the upgrades and retrofitting. South Henry Studios LLC, of Greenacres, is the architect for the building remodel. Ramey Construction Co., of Spokane, is the general contractor.

The campus was built in the 1960s by Sisters of Good Shepherd and originally operated as an orphanage until Excelsior Youth Centers, of Denver, took over in 1982.

Suksdorf describes the main campus building as dated with a midcentury style. The building currently has small, narrow hallways and was built with a stressed concrete construction.

Suksdorf, who grew up in the Spokane area, says that when he was younger, the campus was hidden from view behind a large fence and dense pine trees.

“Today, our campus fences are being removed. You can walk on the campus. You can see through the campus to the hillside behind us,” he says.

The overall vision for the space is to integrate nature with the healing process, he says.

“We’re creating spaces that are calming and feel soothing,” Suksdorf says. “And there will be spaces that have artwork and are stimulating and colorful. So, it’s a blend of nature and man-made that’s the overall concept here.”

Construction on the campus building remodel is expected to start around the beginning of February and last nearly 15 months, although Suksdorf says the construction timeline has changed weekly due to supply chain issues and the changing costs of materials. 

All of the necessary environmental upgrades are expected to take three years to complete.

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Erica Bullock
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Reporter Erica Bullock has worked at the Journal since 2019 and covers real estate and construction. She is a craft beer enthusiast, who loves to garden and go camping with friends.

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