A community recreation center is being designed for the city of Tumwater


A new community recreation center is being designed for the city of Tumwater.

Last week, the Tumwater City Council unanimously approved a contract with Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture to design the center, which may have meeting and event space, senior services, indoor sports courts and a public swimming pool.

Funded by the Tumwater Metropolitan Parks District, the architect also developed a plan for the center and its services, estimated cost and revenue projections, as well as siting in Tumwater.

BRS will complete the project by Dec. 31.

"We want it to be something that everyone has easy access to, whether it's just from within the city or from Interstate 5 or wherever they're coming from," said Chuck Denney, Tumwater Parks and Recreation Department director. "It's meant to serve all Tumwater citizens."

Tumwater City Council entered into a contract in 2004 to design a community recreation center as part of a Capital Area Regional Public Facilities District funding competition between Tumwater, Olympia and Lacey. But the council could not get funding for that center.

This center would be funded by taxes voters approved in 2018 by creating the city's park district. The district is paying BRS $221,733 of an allocated $13 million, Denney said. With the funds allocated, construction of the center could start as soon as BRS completes its design.

The center's site will be at least 10 acres. Four sites are under consideration: the Washington State Department of Transportation site on Capitol Boulevard, the brewery near Tumwater Valley Golf Club, the proposed YMCA site on 93rd Avenue, and Port of Olympia property selected in 2004.

"In 2004, Tumwater had almost 16,000 residents. And today we're just over 28,000," Denney said. "It's a different community, different needs. And we're going to be assessing that when we put together this plan for a new facility."

The project will involve two committees: an executive committee of city and BRS staff, and a steering committee of citizens-at-large and representatives from the Tumwater City Council, Parks and Recreation Commission, School District, Senior Center and Area Chamber of Commerce.

The committees will assess the needs of Tumwater's community with a community survey. Residents may also attend two community open houses.

"We're going to be going to the community and really asking the people, 'What is it that you want? And how do you want to use it?' and how can we provide that," Denney said.


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