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


Photos by Erik Stuhaug

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


The 1999 Community Center Levy provides $3.9 million for an expansion of the existing facility at 2820 S Myrtle Street. The Van Asselt Community Center expansion will be about 8,000 square feet, which will more than double the size of the existing facility.

Project update (as of January 2007)

Seattle Parks and Recreation, in cooperation with Starbucks Corporation, will hold a grand opening ceremony and celebration on Saturday, Feb. 10, from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Mayor Greg Nickels will join us. There will be live music, food, entertainment and play time on the new playground, which was paid for with a Starbucks grant.

In spite of a concrete drivers strike in King County at the end of the summer, the project remains on schedule and within budget. The Contractor, M.J. Takisaki Inc was able to effectively minimize the associated strike impacts. Completion is set for the end of January 2007.

Many programs have been relocated to other community centers or places nearby. Parks is working in partnership with the Seattle Housing Authority at the nearby New Holly campus to provide programs and activities for neighborhood teens. The community center's Teen Development Leader is located at New Holly several days per week.
Programs will also be available at Jefferson Community Center, 3801 Beacon Ave S. (Please call 206-684-7481).

The existing tennis courts have been renovated by a grant provided by the Sonics/Storm Team Foundation. They have been converted into two high school regulation-sized basketball courts. They are open during the winter with limited hours. A more comprehensive schedule will be available once the center opens in February 2006. Plans are in place to replace the tennis courts within the next two years, relocating them on the lower sports field. Meanwhile, the following alternate tennis courts in the area are listed on signs attached to the court fence:

  • Amy Yee Tennis Center, 2000 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S. (indoor/outdoor: 684-4764)
  • Jefferson Park, 4165 16th Ave. S.
  • Beacon Hill Playfield, 1902 13th Ave. S.
  • Brighton Playfield, 6000 39th Ave. S.
  • Rainier Beach Playfield, 8802 Rainier S.
  • Rainier Playfield, 3700 S. Alaska St.

For tennis court reservations or for general information, call 206-684-4062.

Community members have also been successful in applying for, and receiving, generous grant funding to improve the play area.

Color Rending
Color Rendering
(PDF 1M)

Play Area Plan
Play Area Plan, 12/05
(PDF 555k)

Floor Plan
Floor Plan
(PDF 558k)

Planning and Design

Seattle Parks and Recreation hired Ron Wright and Associates (RWAA) as the project architect designer. RWAA principal Ron Wright and project architect Denise Dana are working jointly on the project. A project artist, from the City's 1% for Arts program, will also create an entryway art installation for the project.

Included in the expansion will be spaces such as a main entry with reception counter, new staff offices, interior and exterior public restrooms, and a changing room with a shower. Programmable space to be added includes a lounge area, activity rooms, and a large dividable multi-purpose room with an adjoining kitchen. The expanded center will accommodate activities such as teen camps, classes, after-school programs, community meetings, weddings and seniors programs, and after school child care.

The project team is working with other city departments to explore "green building" strategies that may include Solar Power and High efficiency storm water retention systems for this project.

Project Advisory Team

A Project Advisory (PAT) was appointed by the Superintendent. The PAT has met frequently during the design phase. The group will also have briefings and site tours during construction. The PAT is an advisory committee made up of representatives of key stakeholder groups, and is intended to facilitate sustained and balanced stakeholder participation, providing recommendations on the design of the gym. At its meetings, the PAT reviewed project scope, budget, schedule, and recent accomplishments. Recommendations of the PAT on these topics have been given substantial weight by the Parks Department. Meeting agendas and minutes are available below.

Community Involvement

Early in the process, project surveys were distributed in the community to gain initial input on the design, with 14 surveys returned and the results tallied and reported to the Project Advisory Team (see meeting notes -- PAT meeting #4).

The first public meeting took place on August 17, 2004. Preliminary project designs were presented, as well as an introduction of the PAT members and some information about the project's artist.

The second public meeting, on November 16, 2004, was the final public meeting and focused on a review of the revised conceptual building design, which is shown on this page. There was also a discussion of grant funds that have been applied for by citizens who use the existing facility -- these funds will, if granted, be used to supplement Levy funding. The project artist, Aaron Powers, presented ideas for exterior art, and meeting participants voted on them to choose a concept.

(Project Advisory Team meetings have been held at Van Asselt Community Center, 2820 S. Myrtle St. Meetings were held on the third Tuesday of the month, 6-8 p.m.)

Project Advisory Team Meetings
(Project Advisory Team meetings have been held at Van Asselt Community Center, 2820 S. Myrtle St. Meetings were held on the third Tuesday of the month, 6-8 p.m.)

Meeting #1 3/30/04 agenda (PDF) notes (PDF)
Meeting #2 4/20/04 agenda (PDF) notes (PDF)
Meeting #3 5/18/04 agenda (PDF) notes (PDF)
Meeting #4 6/15/04 agenda (PDF) notes (PDF)
Meeting #5 7/20/04 agenda (PDF) notes (PDF)
Meeting #6/Public meeting 8/17/04 agenda (PDF) notes (PDF)
meeting #7 10/19/04 agenda (PDF) notes (PDF)
Public Meeting #2 11/16/04 agenda (PDF) notes (PDF)
Supplemental PAT meeting 5/18/05 agenda (PDF) notes (PDF)


June - October 2004
November 2004 - November 2005
Contractor Bidding December 2005 - February 2006
Construction March - August 2006
Completion December 2006


Community Center Levy amount: $3.9 million

Contact Information
Dan Johnson, Project Manager
Seattle Parks and Recreation
800 Maynard Ave. S., 3rd Fl.
Seattle, WA 98134
phone: (206) 684-7149, or fax: (206) 233-3949.

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Updated June 27, 2007
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