The Future of the Green Lake Community Center Still Uncertain

January 12, 2017 8:33pm


Earlier this week the Green Lake Advisory Council hosted a meeting to discuss the future of the Green Lake Community Center. In case you missed it, last year the Seattle Parks Department announced that it will be investigating an operating partnership for a new Green Lake Community Center because of a capital shortfall. What does that mean? In basic terms: The Green Lake Community Center is old,(89 years old) and the oldest community center operated by the Parks Department and needs to be replaced, but the Parks Department does not have the funds for the anticipated $25 million project.

The Parks District set aside money to renovate the building but, according to the Parks Department “A consultant study commissioned in 2015 determined that it would be cost effective to consider demolishing and replacing the entire building rather than continue to make needed repairs. Moreover, the existing building requires significant American with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements, which would add additional cost to an already large restoration cost.”

Check out our previous stories for more background.

Christopher Williams, Deputy Superintendent, Seattle Parks attended the meeting and shared his notes with us:

During the meeting the Advisory Council raised the following questions:

The council requested to see the 2015 structural assessment report done on Green Lake Community Center.

Members expressed interest particularly because the 2015 recommendations are in contrast to a building assessment that was done in 2009 that determined the building would require $12 million in renovation costs to stabilize the building. The projected cost for a new community center is roughly $25 million.

We will provide the report to the Green Lake Advisory Council. The short answer is the obsolescence of the building operating systems and the need to bring the building up to current building standards made the renovation the least cost effective option when compared to building a new community center.

What steps will the department take to keep Green Lake Community Center operational until the center can be fully renovated or rebuilt?

The advisory council mentioned maintenance issues like the leaky roof, bad plumbing, etc. The department is committed to making minor repairs to the building to keep the center safely operating until a design and funding are in place to build a new community center.

Will the community have input in the community center design process?

While a schematic design was completed in 2011 for a renovated Green Lake Community Center, the advisory council requested that the Green Lake community be given opportunity to participate in a community design process to update the existing (2011) schematic design. Our goal is to schedule another meeting with the council to address this issue.

What steps are required to secure funding for a new community center?

Currently SPR does not have funding to build a new community center. The source of funding would likely come from the Park District, however the soonest a decision could be made isn’t until 2021, when the department, through a community driven process will establish new spending priorities. Spending priorities for the Park District are established on a 6 year cycle, the current 6 year spending plan obligates funding to previously approved priorities.

Related to prioritizing funding for a new center, the department will undertake a recreation facilities development plan to look comprehensively across the system to determine our overall facility needs based on program delivery. It is assumed Green Lake Community Center would be prioritized in this plan.