Construction now planned for new NOAA Marine Research Center in Mukilteo

VIDEO: Construction now planned for new NOAA Marine Research Center in Mukilteo

Changes are happening along the Mukilteo waterfront, including the now-pending demolition of a weathered two-story building that currently houses the Northwest Fisheries Science Center’s Mukilteo Research Station.

The building has been here since the 1940s and once served as a World War II military barrack. But now, plans are in the works to build a brand-new state-of-the-art research facility in its place.

“We are very excited. We have been wanting to see this happen for a long time,” said station chief Paul McElhany.

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Elhany said Congress recently approved $40 million for this construction. It’s the biggest project right now for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which overseas this research station.

The current building stands on 1.1 acres of land next to the Silver Cloud Inn and the Mukilteo Ferry Terminal.

The new research facility will be built on the same spot, but will house brand-new technology that, according to McElahany, will further enhance their research on marine wildlife.

He took us inside one of his labs where scientists simulate ocean water environment for Dungeness crabs.

The location for this facility is critical because of its direct access to the Puget Sound. The new research center will include a new underground water intake system and eliminate pipes and pumps that are exposed to the elements.

Elhany said a new facility will also be more ideal for visitors including local students who want to experience he and his team conducts on a daily basis..

Construction for the new research center is set to begin next summer and the new building should be open by 2022.