Seattle Parks and Recreation and the community will join on Sunday, Sept. 22, from 2 – 5 p.m. to celebrate the grand opening of the brand new Rainier Beach Community Center and Pool, 8825 Rainier Ave. S.
Join family, friends, and neighbors to tour the new building and pool. Enjoy a performance by the Southeast Seattle Community Youth Orchestra and other community entertainment, with a special appearance by soul singer Choklate.
The event is also a great opportunity to register for fall programs, play basketball in the gym, and meet new service providers. Neighborhood restaurants and Community Kitchens Northwest will provide light refreshments.
The pool facility will be open for touring, but not for swimming. Staff are working diligently to prepare the pool for swimming, and are awaiting final permitting. The pool will open with a “rolling start,” which allows staff to learn to use the new systems and complete essential training. For a tentative schedule of the “rolling start” pool schedule, check the pool’s webpage. Residents can also find updates by visiting Facebook at www.facebook.com/thebeachatrb or by calling 206-386-1925.
The celebration is an opportunity to tour the pool, locker rooms, and five family changing rooms, and to see the sauna and spa. The pool is unlike any other in the Seattle Parks and Recreation system. It has a lazy river and indoor slide and spray play area, as well as a special birthday party area.
To register for swimming lessons, or other programs at the pool or community center, visit www.seattle.gov/parks and click on the SPARC logo.
Seattle Parks and Recreation has contracted with five community organizations to enhance and expand services. Those partners include Bike Works, Southeast Seattle Community Youth Orchestra, Atlantic Street Center, East African Community Services, and the Associated Recreational Council. This new partnership model will help Seattle Parks meet many of the goals and priorities of the Rainier Beach Neighborhood Plan Update developed by the community, the Department of Neighborhoods, and Department of Planning and Development.
The new Rainier Beach Community Center and Pool is funded by revenues from General Obligation Bonds and real estate excise tax revenues.
The community played an active role in the development of the facility. An all-volunteer Project Advisory Team and community input during five public meetings helped guide the design process that ultimately developed the best possible plan.The $25 million facility includes a gym, a large dividable multipurpose room, a kitchen, teen rooms, a computer lab, an arts and crafts room, a childcare facility with its own entrance, a recreational pool with waterslide and baby pool, and a lap pool with an additional space for birthday parties.
Seattle Parks and Recreation, ARC Architects, Stantec Engineers, and Counsilman-Hunsaker aquatic engineers set sustainable design goals with a focus on reducing energy and water use. Targeting LEED Gold, designers incorporated sustainability into each decision. Daylight illuminates all public spaces and natural ventilation minimizes energy use. Rainwater harvesting provides 90 percent of the water for toilets and urinals.Built on the site of the former community center and pool, the new facility makes creative use of recycling. Wood beams were repurposed for siding; concrete foundations were used for onsite landfill, and the wood ceilings from the old locker rooms were re-milled and installed for the lobby ceilings.
Visually, the new building opens to the neighborhood, providing a welcoming atmosphere. The gym is located on the north for best daylighting and opens to a large plaza for multipurpose events. The pools are located on the south, and the existing plaza was extended to the building with added terrace seating and landscaping. Roy McMakin and Jeffry Mitchell created artwork for the new building commissioned with Seattle Parks and Recreation 1% for Art funds. The six new interior and exterior artworks (all Untitled) range from arrow signs pointing visitors towards the entrances to the new community center; to a giant, pointing cartoon-like finger; to an inflated rainbow Parks identifier sign.
In February 2013 Seattle Parks offered an employment forum that explained to the community the City’s hiring process, showed job seekers how to use the online application tool, and gave information on employment opportunities at Rainier Beach Community Center and Pool.
The Department of Neighborhoods provided funding for the opening celebration through the Matching Fund program. For a complete schedule for the opening event please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/Centers/rainierbeach.htm.
The best way to get to the event is by public transportation, carpooling, bicycling or walking. If you do drive parking is available at South Shore K-8 at 4800 S Henderson St or at South Lake High School 8601 Rainier Ave S.
For more information on the new Rainier Beach Community Center and Pool or to register for classes please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/Centers/rainierbeach.htm or call Martha Winther at 206-615-1072.