Washington County Seismic Retrofit Construction Projects

Preparing for a Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake

The Charles D. Cameron Public Services Building (PSB) and the Law Enforcement Center (LEC) are the first of a handful of Washington CountyCascadia Subduction Zone buildings to receive critical seismic retrofits over several years. After an earthquake, or any major disaster, a functional PSB and the uninterrupted use of the LEC will be key components of the County's response and recovery efforts.

Construction is underway on the PSB, with completion expected in early 2019. The LEC seismic strengthening project began in April, 2017 and was completed ahead of schedule and under-budget six months later.




Charles D. Cameron Public Services Building
155 N. First Avenue, Hillsboro

PSBBuilt in 1990, the PSB was compliant with existing building codes of the day. However, engineering studies concluded that the building's structural frame and internal systems were at risk, in light of scientific predictions of a major earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Seismic upgrades were required to protect life safety and to strengthen the building to a higher level of resilience. 

Although no structure can be completely "earthquake-proof," critical and essential buildings such as the PSB must be able to withstand a major seismic event. The retrofit project was designed to limit damage to structural components and internal systems and to substantially lower the risk of life-threatening injuries to those inside. A safe and functional PSB will be a key component of Washington County's response and recovery efforts after any major disaster and will enable the community to regain vital services more quickly in the days and weeks that follow. In addition to the seismic retrofit, the project incorporates water mitigation work in the basement and provides upgrades to critical building systems including mechanical, lighting and security.

Washington County contracted with Portland-based SERA Architects and JE Dunn Construction to assist with design and management of this challenging, multi-phased process. Due to the length and complexity of the project, and the level of disruption involved, the project was divided into two phases. Phase one focuses on the north wing of the building and phase two will address the south wing. For phase one, departments and services previously located in the north wing of the building were temporarily relocated into alternate, nearby spaces. These offices, listed in the table below, will eventually move back to the completed north wing, except for the County Auditor's office which will remain in its current location. These moves are expected to begin in July, 2018.

The south wing of the building, which houses Health and Human Services (HHS), Land Use and Transportation (LUT), Human Resources, Finance and Purchasing, will remain operational and open to the public during most of phase one. To prepare for phase two of construction, south wing occupants will begin relocating in March 2018, to interim spaces where they will remain for the duration of the project. For all HHS related moves visit their webpage. For a list of LUT locations during the seismic retrofit, visit their webpage.

Additionally, the first floor cafeteria and auditorium are closed until July, 2018. Weekly meetings of the Washington County Board of Commissioners are currently held in the nearby Hillsboro Civic Center. For a complete schedule of Board meetings go to  http://www.co.washington.or.us/BOC/Meetings/board-meeting-schedule.cfm.

To obtain additional information, confirm current locations or to get specific directions, please contact the departments directly or call Washington County Facilities and Parks Services at 503-846-8715. Maps and directional signs have been posted to help the public find their way. A brochure containing a map of the downtown Hillsboro campus and department contact information is also available.




 Assessment &Taxation

 ‒Appraisal Section

 Adams Crossing
 161 NW Adams Avenue, Hillsboro



 Assessment &Taxation

 ‒Assessment Information

 ‒Manufactured Structures

 ‒Marriage Licenses &  Domestic Partnership Registration


 ‒Property Tax Collections

 ‒Recording/Deed Records

 Adams Crossing 
 161 NW Adams Avenue, Hillsboro

 Board of Commissioners &

 County Administrative Office

 Public Services Annex 
 254 N First Avenue, Hillsboro



 Adams Annex 
 231 W Main Street, Hillsboro


 Community Engagement

 Public Services Annex 
 254 N First Avenue, Hillsboro


 County Auditor

 Washington County Parking   Structure
  221 S. First Avenue, Hillsboro


 County Counsel

 Adams Crossing
 161 NW Adams Avenue, Hillsboro


Law Enforcement Center
215 SW Adams Avenue, Hillsboro

LEC seismic

Engineering studies concluded that the structural integrity of the Law Enforcement Center might also be compromised in a major Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake but that the adjoining Washington County Jail would likely withstand a major earthquake. Seismic upgrades were necessary to protect life safety and to strengthen the LEC to a higher level of resilience that essential facilities require.

In mid-September of 2017, a six month seismic strengthening project was completed. This design included the application of external cross bracing in key locations around the building which will allow it to maintain operational capability following a major earthquake. Washington County contracted with Portland-based SERA Architects, JE Dunn Construction, KPFF Consulting Engineers and others, to assist with design and management of the project.



Future Seismic Retrofits

The seismic integrity of other county buildings will also be addressed. Efforts to reinforce and retrofit the Walnut Street Center and the Washington County Courthouse will be undertaken when current projects are complete and as additional funding sources are identified.