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.