Seattle Parks and Recreation Jesús Aguirre, Superintendent
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Jefferson Community Center
Project Fact Sheet

Gym Dedication!

On Saturday, September 11, 2004 Jefferson Community Center dedicated its new gym, with the help of Mayor Greg Nickels.

The Community Center also hosted an open house. Everyone enjoyed refreshments and entertainment by the Jefferson Breakdancers, as well as wonderful guitar and vocals by two community members.

The 1999 Community Center Levy provided $2.463 million for addition of a regulation-size gym to Jefferson Community Center.

Thank you, Seattle. The Jefferson Community Center Gym is complete!

Facility Overview
Jefferson Community Center was built in 1972 without a gym and has used a gym located at nearby Asa Mercer Middle School. The new gym provides a place to play basketball and volleyball, to hold senior and adult fitness classes such as aerobics, and to hold community meetings and celebrations. The Parks Department will continue to use the Mercer gym under a joint use agreement with the Seattle School District.

The new gym opened on September 11, 2004. Construction began in August, 2003. The general contractor was Synergy Construction. In addition to the gym itself, the project includes an entry area, toilets, and gym storage. On the exterior the project includes a basketball court, a small parking lot, site lighting and landscaping. The gym lighting system is a state of the art combination of natural and artificial light, including a skylight and clerestory windows that introduce natural light, making the gym more attractive. Glazing materials were chosen to provide a diffuse light that does not create glare. The artificial lighting system uses highly efficient fluorescent lamps; the lamps will automatically dim or brighten depending on the amount of natural light entering the gym. Large doors that open directly to an exterior plaza is another feature. These doors will be used for community events with combined interior and exterior activities.

The new gym is a big step forward in the Jefferson Park Site Plan, developed in 1999-2002. With substantial community participation, the plan was written to provide a long-term direction for improvements at this large site.

Jefferson Park Site Planning Overview
Over the next few years a large number of projects are slated to be constructed in Jefferson Park, representing millions of dollars of funding.

To ensure that these projects are carried out in the best possible manner, the Parks Department undertook a site planning process, with extensive public involvement. An environmental impact statement (EIS) was prepared for the preferred plan and the plan was approved by the Seattle Parks Board. For more information on the Jefferson Park site planning process see the Jefferson Park Site Plan Page.

Gym 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. As the project progressed, some of the information contained in the design program had been modified.

Public Involvement Process
The Parks Department facilitated extensive public involvement during design and construction of the gym, including the formation of a project advisory team. A public involvement plan was part of the design program described above. A public meeting was held in August, 2002 to review the schematic design phase work, with a second public meeting held in November, 2002 to review the design development phase work. These "open house" style meetings gave community members an opportunity to see the latest design work and talk with the designers and Park Department staff.

Project Advisory Team

A Project Advisory Team (PAT) was appointed by the Superintendent in 2002. The PAT met frequently during the design phases. They have also had briefings and site tours during construction. The PAT is an advisory committee made up of representatives of key stakeholder groups, intended to facilitate sustained and balanced stakeholder participation, providing recommendations on the design of the gym. For more information see roles and responsibilities of the PAT. Meetings of the PAT have been open to the public. At its meetings the PAT has reviewed project scope, budget, schedule, recent accomplishments, and upcoming tasks. The group's recommendations have been given significant weight by the Parks Department.

Schematic Design Phase
During schematic design the placement of the gym, internal and external circulation, building appearance, building code requirements, and other important issues were studied. A variety of drawings were prepared to explore these key issues. Some of those drawings can be viewed here:
> Review the Jefferson Community Center Plan Study (PDF 2.5M)

Design Development Phase
During design development the ideas generated earlier were studied more closely. Emphasis was placed on resolving conflicts between various ideas, refining the design, resolving the structural system and solidifying the pallet of interior and exterior materials. Some of the design phase drawings can be viewed here:
Review the Jefferson Community Center Schematic Design (PDF)

Construction Document Phase
During the construction document phase, the drawings and specifications used by the contractor were prepared. During this phase, all materials were selected and the exact assembly of all the building components delineated. The construction drawings and specifications are detailed and lengthy. There are 66 large drawing sheets and 1,000+/- specification sheets in the final package. A copy of the construction documents is available for viewing at Jefferson Community Center.

Bidding and Award Phase
After completion of the construction documents in mid-2003, the bidding process began. Bids were opened in mid-July, 2003. Five bids were received. The lowest bidder was Synergy Construction. The bid amount was low enough that it was possible to include key items that were bid as additives: the gym skylight, gym clerestory windows and windows/doors at the north wall of the gym. During subsequent weeks the contractual paperwork was completed and the notice to proceed was issued in mid-August, 2003.

Parks Project Manager
Don Bullard, Seattle Parks and Recreation, 800 Maynard Ave. S., 3rd Fl., Seattle, WA 98134, e-mail:, phone: (206) 684-7158, or fax: (206) 233-3949.

Project Advisory Team Meetings

Meeting #1
May 23, 2002 Agenda (PDF) Minutes (PDF)
Meeting #2
June 27, 2002 Agenda (PDF) Minutes (PDF)
Meeting #3
July 18, 2002 Agenda (PDF) Minutes (PDF)
Meeting #4
August 29, 2002 Agenda (PDF) Minutes (PDF)
Meeting #5
November 14, 2002 Agenda (PDF) Minutes (PDF)
Meeting #6
December 19, 2002 Agenda (PDF) Minutes (PDF)
Meeting #7 January 30, 2003 Agenda (PDF) Minutes

Open Houses

Open House #1 (PDF)
Saturday, Aug. 17, 2002
Open House #2 (PDF)
Saturday, Nov. 23, 2002

*Note: To view a PDF, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader. Download it for free at


Updated June 18, 2007
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