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Yelm Community Center update

Drawing courtesy: City of Yelm
Editor’s Note:
I have been getting so many questions from the public about the small footprint of the foundation now noticeable at the site of the Yelm Community Center at Yelm City Park. I have told everyone this is a much smaller version of what the city approved to do an end-run around two failed public ballot measures to build a community center here.

UPDATE: April 28, 2015
Port Invests in Thurston County’s Small Cities
“For the sixth year, projects in Thurston County’s small, incorporated cities will receive a boost from Port of Olympia. On April 13, the Commission approved funding matches for economic development projects in Bucoda, Rainier, Tenino and Yelm, at $10,000 each.”

“Yelm will continue construction work on its new community center (pictured above) in Yelm City Park, which is the heart of the Central Business District and historic downtown and within easy access of visitors and residents alike,” quoting Thurston Talk.
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From the City of Yelm:
“In 2013, the City Council approved a Master Plan for Yelm City Park that included a complete update of the park as well as a spray park, a new skate park, and a 10,000 square foot community center. The total cost for all improvements was expected to be around $6.7 million. City voters rejected a bond to pay for the entire park upgrade.

The City Council had previously budgeted $1 million for a community center, and the Washington State Legislature included another $1 million in the 2013 capital projects budget. Additionally, the City received a Community Development Block Grant for $439,000 to construct a new Skate Park.

The Mayor and City Council, after reviewing options with key stakeholders, chose to phase the Master Park Plan and complete Phase I, the Community Center project to fit within existing funds. [Note: Not going to the public taxpayers for a vote.]

The City hired the design firm BCRA to complete the design of a 5,000 square foot community center.
[Note: half the size of the 10,000 sq. ft. community center the public voted down twice.]

The design includes 3,300 square feet of multi-purpose space which will accommodate events of up to 250 people.
[Note: not even the half-sized 5,000 sq. ft. community center.]
The space can be divided in half to host smaller events. Roll up doors will allow the interior space to be used in conjunction with Yelm City Park for community events such as Prairie Days and Christmas in the Park. [Note: the costs of the design changes have been staggering!]
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The Yelm City Council approved adding an additional $1,000,000 to the $1,000,000 Library Bond for a 4,950 square feet community center, without public input. Yet the Nisqually Valley News reported October 30, “The new community center design includes a 3,300-square-foot multipurpose space.”

– How do THE voters feel that voted this down on 2 ballots?

– How do tax payers feel to know the city added an additional $1 million to the $1 million library bond for a community center, where the public was not consulted?

– Many new public buildings nationwide are designed as LEEDS certified, the best way to demonstrate that a building project is truly “green.” Why is Yelm not following LEEDS certification with this public building?

– I have always been in favor of a community center, however I am on the record objecting to the lack of public involvement in the process!

Posted by Steve on April 27, 2015 at 6:32 am | Permalink

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