The SWIFT Center, former Northern State Hospital campus, is rich with history dating back to the hospital’s opening in 1912. Many Skagit County residents have a connection to the campus. For some, it’s having a family member who lived or worked on campus; for others, they’ve observed the hospital’s historical, economic and social contributions to the local community; while others have simply enjoyed the picturesque nature of the beautiful campus.
The graphic timeline below is a snapshot of significant events on the campus over the last 100+ years. For more history about the hospital, visit the websites for the Sedro-Woolley Historical Museum or the City of Sedro-Woolley.
Northern State Hospital opened.
Hospital served 2,200 patients with a staff of 415.
Northern State Hospital closed.
Campus site management of 225 acres transferred to state Department of Enterprise Services (DES).
Skagit County creates Northern State Recreation Area on approx. 750 acres.
Portion of site added to National Register of Historic Places as a District, including 56 buildings.
DES initiates collaborative planning process with local and state community partners.
Ownership of campus is officially transferred from the State of Washington to the Port of Skagit.
Public access restored to designated outdoor areas of the campus grounds.
Collaboration with local and state partners was a critically important aspect in transferring ownership of the campus from the State to the Port. By establishing a long-range vision for the property, gathering input from the public and key stakeholders, and working closely with the state Department of Enterprise Services, the efforts to revitalize the campus continue to move forward.
As a first step in the collaborative planning process for the SWIFT Center, in 2015 the Port completed an adaptive reuse study funded by the state Department of Ecology (ECY). The study evaluated the environmental conditions and potential redevelopment opportunities on the property. The adaptive reuse study served as the foundation for future investigations and planning work.
The Port of Skagit, the City of Sedro-Woolley and Skagit County joined in the common vision of returning this historic site to its former prominence as a local and regional economic engine. In July 2015, the Port submitted a proposal to the state Department of Enterprise Services requesting the transfer of ownership of the Northern State property to local ownership.
The Subarea Plan is intended to provide planning and policy guidance to position the SWIFT Center to achieve its potential for economic development and builds on the public planning process that resulted in the Northern State Adaptive Re-use Study.
An Environmental Impact Analysis was a key part of the proposed redevelopment process for the SWIFT Center campus. The proposed actions were subject to review under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) and the project and analysis received considerable public interest.