Common sense on the Community Center

It appears that common sense may prevail on the proposed Sammamish Community Center.

That’s the project, readers will recall, that last year was headed toward a $64m, 98,000sf extravaganza that would have been the biggest city community center in King County, according to some.

It would have been roughly 2 1/2 times the size of our City Hall at roughly seven times the cost of the building.

Note that now City officials are putting the price tag of City Hall at around $28m, “including land costs.” I think this is somewhat misleading, but I won’t argue the point.

We already own the land on which the Community Center will be built, the so-called Kellman property. This was purchased not so much with a Community Center in mind; affordable housing was one preferred use, a folly–but that’s another story. So the original Community Center concept at $64m was breath-taking. It got a lot of justifiable push-back from the public and some council members who were fiscally alert and not interested in a Taj Mahal. The City was also charging ahead alone rather than partnering with a private entity well-versed in operating community centers.

According to this article in the Sammamish Review, the City is now talking with the YMCA about a sharply scaled down project that is priced at $29m for a 64,000sf building (the City Hall is just over 39,000sf). Further, Council Member Nancy Whitten thinks the YMCA should deed over the property it owns near the Pine Lake Middle School as part of the deal–an idea I think has great merit.

Kudos to the City for coming around to considering a solution that wasn’t even on the table.

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3 Responses to Common sense on the Community Center

  1. Saw that today too. Good news. All we ever wanted was a real pool that can be a home to our local swim teams and a place for everyone else to swim (or learn how). All the other stuff is an extra layer of icing we never really asked for… doing nothing is not an option either.

  2. Stephen says:

    I don’t agree with the deal to allow the Y to manage the facility. The city and it’s residents lose control of it’s use. And the Y’s ability to manage the facility is in question. Have any of you used the existing facility in Issaquah? Looking at the pool and restrooms I would not think the Y has the means to take proper care of the facility. The Y ledarership even stated in the article this would be the largest facilty they have ever managed. I’m sorry but I’m not supportivie of such an experiment in my backyard. If that means we don’t have such a facility so be it as sad as that would be. If we can’t get voter support then it shouldn’t be built. Period. I am not in favor of any such plans until the city can get off it’s arse and START on the Town Center project. What ever happened to that? I don’t see evidence the City council has what it takes to undertage such projects…finish one before moving on to another.

  3. Mike says:

    Sorry Stephen, but you miss the point of Sammamish council government.[/sarcasm] Delay, delay, delay. How long did it take to get the old library building turned into a youth center? Not as long as we’ve been hearing about Town Center but…

    I’m kind of lukewarm to the Y running the facility as well. Seems like most Y facilities I’ve used has the same run down look. We don’t need to build a golden palace but I do want whatever ends up being built to be nice and well maintained.

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