The Park

Could the Green Lake Community Center Become a YMCA or Something Else?

September 19, 2016 10:35pm


Remember last week when we mentioned that you should attend the Parks Department meeting for future decisions of Green Lake’s Community Center? Well we just learned that there is more to the story.

After fielding several emails from concerned Greenlakers and the Green Lake Chamber of Commerce (thank you!) we found out that the meeting last Friday for public comment was also seeking input on potential operating partnerships for the Community Center. What exactly does that mean? Initally we thought it was around programming, but the Seattle Parks Department has confirmed that they are exploring a partner to help fund a new facility for the Green Lake Community Center. This struck us as strange because wasn’t a Park District created and money set aside for this from the 2014 election?

According to Seattle Parks Department Acting Communications Manager, Dewey Potter, Green Lake Community Center “operations are covered with the additional Park District funding. However, the capital need is so large that we are looking at partnerships and innovations.” And Green Lake is not alone. Lake City is also experiencing a shortfall and will be investigating a operating partnership.

In 2014 we interviewed Seattle Parks’s representative David Takami who said the money allocated to the Green Lake Community Center from the Park District funds were earmarked for renovations and mechanical/electrical work.
So how did the Green Lake Community Center move from a line item of renovations to needing to “look at partnerships and innovations” to fill the capital shortfall for a new facility? The simple answer is we don’t know. But we are trying to find out.

We’ve asked the Parks Department to comment on that and the following questions, which they had not responded by the time of this writing.

  • If the Seattle Parks Department determines that renovations are not feasible, does that mean a new Community Center building is under consideration? If so, how much would a new Community Center cost?
  • How would an operating partnership change the way residents experience/interact with the Green Lake Community Center?
  • If Green Lake Community Center was part of an operating partnership how would that be different from what we have now?

While we await a response from the Parks Department, you should also mark your calendar for a Board of Park Commissioners meeting that is scheduled on October 27 (location/time TBD) where this issue will be open to discussion to the public.