Waterfront Center organizers pressing on with new fundraising goal, City Council learns


A contingent of representatives from the planned Edmonds Waterfront Center building that will replace the current Edmonds Senior Center visited the Edmonds City Council Tuesday night with an update and a message, delivered in person by former Edmonds Mayor Gary Haakenson: “Anything people can do to help us out, we’d appreciate it.”

Haakenson is co-chair of the Capital Campaign that raised what was supposed to be the center’s construction target of $10 million. Recently though, organizers learned that the region’s extremely hot construction market has driven the price significantly higher — to $16 million.

Capital Campaign Director Daniel Johnson told the council that when organizers learned of the larger amount needed, they conducted a feasibility study to ensure that the extra money could be raised. The group also looked at ideas to reduce the building size to cut costs. Then they met with about 20 key stakeholders who had contributed to the project to get their take on next steps.

The Waterfront Center has been envisioned as a new 26,000-square-foot sustainable building that offers a range of programs emphasizing health and wellness, recreation and education for people of all ages while still responding to the unique needs of an aging population living in south Snohomish and north King counties. The plan includes beach restoration and improved access to the waterfront site.

The city leases to the senior center the current structure, which was originally designed as a boat storage facility. The proposed two-story building would be constructed to LEED silver and gold standards, and be designed from the ground up as a community center, with interior space laid out to ensure maximum future flexibility.

Johnson said that after reviewing options for possible cost cutting to this plan, Capital Campaign members then met with about 20 key stakeholders who had contributed to the project to get their take on next steps.

“The reaction was really similar when we spoke with each one of them,” Johnson said. “It would be a travesty to do anything less than deliver on the full dream.”

The senior center board unanimously agreed to revise the fundraising goal to $16 million, and the group plans to work its list of foundations, government entities, and business and individual donors to come up with the additional money.

The community campaign is also a key element, Johnson said. “We want to create an opportunity for everyone in Edmonds to contribute, to have their skin in the game, to feel a sense of ownership.”

Added Haakenson: “No gift is too small or too large, for that matter.” To learn about donation options, you can call the senior center at 425-774-5555 ext 104.

The former mayor also invited the community to the Senior Center’s gala fundraising auction on Saturday, May 5. Called “Flight to the Future,” it will be held at the Historic Flight Foundation at Paine Field, 10719 Bernie Webber Dr, Mukilteo. (You can buy tickets here.)

The project is currently in design development work, with the goal of demolishing the existing senior center building and starting construction by Jan. 15, 2019, and completion by March 1, 2020.

The project’s general contractor is WG Clark, which is also working on two other visible local projects: The Graphite Art Studio downtown on 2nd Avenue, and Westgate Village next to Bartell Drug along Edmonds Way.

The council also during its Tuesday meeting:

– Agreed to place on next week’s consent agenda a proposed contract to provide expanded police services to the Town of Woodway. You can learn more about the agreement here. Chief Al Compaan told the council that the Woodway Town Council already approved the contract April 17.

-Approved a $1.2 million, three-year contract with Walker-Macy for Civic Center Field design services.

– Heard a report from the Snohomish County Affordable Housing Alliance. See the report here.

– Received a proclamation from Mayor Dave Earling declaring the last week in April YWCA Stand Against Racism week.

– Listened to a 2018 State Legislative Session Wrap-Up Report from the city’s lobbyists.

– Approved a first quarter 2018 Budget Amendment

– Authorized the mayor to sign a contract for an engineering analysis and preliminary design for a system to replace the current sludge incinerator at the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Read more in our previous story here.

– Approved an ordinance to repeal City Council Chapter 3.04 to establish guidance for financial reporting, which will be replaced later with resolution. (Best practice is to adopt financial reporting guidelines by resolution rather than by ordinance.)

— By Teresa Wippel

One Reply to “Waterfront Center organizers pressing on with new fundraising goal, City Council learns”

  1. The reality of the substantial increase in construction costs for the Waterfront Center may be a blessing in disguise. Now the board has the opportunity to re-examine the location and build it in a proper place between Frances Anderson Community Center and the library by tearing down the 1960 era concrete block addition. This site is centrally located providing access to the library and rooftop Library Terrace and Plaza Room (great for lunches and events) – and all closer to the center of town. The site certainly would be more appealing to families and youth with easy access to arts and recreational facilities. The other possible option could be on one-quarter acre of the 8 + acre Civic Playfield. And, why not turn the existing Senior Center into a wonderful beach. The Senior Center can be relocated very nicely to either of the above two locations – but where can you find another park/beach? And finally, we wouldn’t have to worry about the Waterfront Center being washed away in a big storm nor be concerned about crossing the railroad tracks. Kudos certainly to the tremendous support this project has received to date from donors. But, adding $6MM to the campaign may be a bridge too far!


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