Seattle Parks and Recreation Jesús Aguirre, Superintendent
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Seattle Parks and Recreation

Yesler Community Center
Project Fact Sheet


Design Award
Seattle Parks and Recreation has received a Civic Design Award from the American Institute of Architects for the design of the Yesler Community Center.

In the Seattle PI
On Architecture: It's the little things by Lawrence Cheek
» article

Yesler Community Center and Sustainability

The Site

The 1999 Community Center Levy provides $6.636 million to replace the existing Yesler Community Center.

The new Yesler Community Center is complete!

On February 12, 2005, Yesler Community Center officially opened to the public during a grand opening event that included refreshments, entertainment, and community information, as well as educational activities being offered. Mayor Greg Nickels joined the community for this celebration.

Project Update (as of February, 2005)
This facility was designed on one level with visibility from the entry desk to all key areas and entries for security, and includes off-street parking. Construction on the 20,000 square foot building began in February 2004.

The former community center and gym remained open during construction.

Completed Project
Completed Project
Photo by Juan Hernandez/Mithun
Completed Project
Completed Project
Photo by Juan Hernandez/Mithun
Completed Project
Completed Project
Photo by Juan Hernandez/Mithun

Schematic Diagram

U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
The new Yesler Community Center will be registered with the U.S. Green Building Council to achieve Silver level of LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design). The building will achieve energy efficiency through the use of daylighting, intelligent lighting systems and natural ventilation (including strategically placed operable windows size and location determined by computer modeling partially funded by Seattle City Light). Gymnasium lighting will be optimized for daylight harvesting using dimmable ballasts. Construction practices will include healthy indoor environmental quality through improved ventilation, healthier building materials. Parks will recycle more than 75 percent of demolition and construction debris.
> more information about sustainability features (PDF)

Community Center Design Program

The project is described in the design program (PDF). As completely as possible, the design program expresses the Parks Department's and community's expectations and objectives. It includes a thorough description of the project scope, budget and schedule.

Public Involvement

There have been many opportunities for the community to be involved in the planning and design stages for this project. Regularly held Project Advisory Team (PAT) and community meetings are sponsored by the Parks Department and are open to the public. In addition, Design Commission meetings have been a regular feature of the process of designing this facility. Each of those meetings is open to the public.

Initially, public involvement focused on establishing a site for the new center. The community met three times in 2001 to discuss criteria and siting issues for the new building. In 2002, public involvement was focused on design. Parks also hosted three public meetings. In 2003, public involvement focused on the final stages of design, a groundbreaking ceremony and on the 1% For Art project.

Public Meetings

Public Meetings:

Meeting #1
July 11, 2002   Minutes (PDF)
Meeting #2
Feb. 19th, 2003 Agenda (PDF) Minutes (PDF)
Meeting #3 June 25, 2003 Agenda (PDF)  
Meeting #4 Sept. 8, 2003
(1% For Art Charette)

Siting Meetings:

Meeting #1
April 4, 2001 Minutes (PDF)
Meeting #2
May 2, 2001 Minutes (PDF)
Meeting #3 Aug. 29, 2001  


Design Review Board Meetings (This board review private developments, such as housing. At one point during the project the Seattle Housing Authority had planned to build housing with the community center. That is no longer the case, and therefore, this project will not be reviewed by the Design Review Board again.)

Meeting #1
June 5, 2002 Minutes (PDF)

Design Commission Meetings(The Seattle Design Commission acts in a consulting and advisory capacity to the City in connection with environmental and design aspects of City capital improvement projects.)

Meeting #1
June 6, 2002 Minutes (PDF)
Meeting #2 Sept. 19, 2002 Minutes (PDF)
Meeting #3 Feb. 20, 2003 Minutes (PDF)

Project Advisory Team
A Project Advisory Team (PDF) (PAT) was appointed by the Parks Superintendent in 2001. The PAT met through completion of the construction documents, with briefings and site tours during construction. An advisory committee made up of representatives of key stakeholder groups, the PAT was asked to facilitate sustained and balanced stakeholder participation. The PAT reviewed and provided recommendations on the design of the gym. For more information see the the roles and responsibilities of the PAT. Meetings of the PAT have been open to the public. At its meetings the PAT reviewed project scope, budget, schedule, recent accomplishments and upcoming tasks. Recommendations of the PAT on these topics have been given substantial weight by the Parks Department.

Project Advisory Team Meetings

Meeting #1
March 27, 2002 Minutes (PDF)
Meeting #2 June 13, 2002 Minutes (PDF)
Meeting #3 July 8, 2002 Minutes (PDF)
Meeting #4 Oct. 7, 2002 Minutes (PDF)
Meeting #5 Nov 6., 2003 Cancelled
Meeting #6
Feb. 6, 2003 Minutes (PDF)
Meeting #7
March 6, 2003 Minutes (PDF)
Meeting #8
April 6, 2003 Minutes (PDF)
Meeting #9 May 1, 2003  
Meeting #10
June 5, 2003  
Meeting #11 July 16, 2003  

The Community Center Levy allocates $6.636 million to build a new facility.


December 2001 Siting Completed
July 2003 Design Completed
July 2003 Construction start (groundbreaking)
February 2005
Project Completed (grand opening)

For more information:
Toby Ressler, Project Manager
Seattle Parks and Recreation
800 Maynard Ave. S. 3rd Fl
Seattle, WA 98134
Phone: (206) 615-1482

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Updated July 29, 2015
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