Tribal hatchery and beach shelter under construction in Kingston

Construction is underway on a new hatchery building and beach shelter for the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe at the Point Julia beachfront in Kingston.

The new hatchery building is 1,800 square feet and two stories. It replaces an old hatchery and will be used as office and utility space for the tribe’s salmon hatchery program. The separate open-air shelter is located a short distance from the new hatchery and will be used for tribal commercial fishing operations, in addition to providing the first public restrooms at the beach.

CAST architecture has designed both structures in close collaboration with the tribe.

The lower level of the new hatchery will house a garage, maintenance shop, and egg incubation room with equipment that is both durable and moveable. The upper floor will contain offices, water-quality testing, and filtration equipment. A conference room, offering unobstructed views of the water, will be located in the southwest corner of the upper level, which can be entered separately and accessed by the wider community.

The beach shelter, which the architect describes as “the tribe’s front door on the sea,” will provide a work area for fishermen who pull their boats onto the beach and will also anchor the arrival of the annual Canoe Journey, the region’s most important inter-tribal celebration which takes place each summer.

The new structures are located on land once occupied by the tribe’s long houses. It is also the burial ground of their ancestors. Owing to the sensitive nature of the project site, the design team was careful to limit the project’s footprint to areas already disturbed by prior construction.

The design of the new hatchery building is inspired by traditional Salish buildings in intertidal zones, specifically the practice of elevating buildings on permanent poles fashioned from tree trunks and clad with removable cedar planks. The modern-day hatchery will be elevated using exposed auger-cast concrete piles that support a lighter skin of glass, polycarbonate, and wood.

Elevating the hatchery will allow the lower level to withstand up to three feet of storm-driven tidal flooding. Swenson Say Faget is the structural engineer for the project.

The second story of the hatchery emerges above Point Julia Drive at eye level to the road. An art piece by S’Klallam artist Jimmy Price will be featured on this story’s facade.

The beach shelter’s design takes inspiration from traditional Indigenous wood construction and will have a high roof that encloses both hardscape and a generous slice of beach with oversized wooden beams and exposed rafters. The shelter will also have a low-roofed plumbing core that echoes the hatchery houses hygienic cleaning sinks. The beach’s first public restrooms will be built next to the open-air structure.

The project also includes landscape restoration along the beach between the two new structures, which will reintroduce Indigenous edible and medicinal plants, and the reorganization of the hatchery’s water intake system in an adjacent ravine.

Substantial completion is set for June 5, in time for this year’s Canoe Journey stop at the beach which is slated for July 27. Pacific Civil & Infrastructure Inc. is the general contractor. The project team also includes engineer Gray & Osborne Inc.

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