Design process for Tumwater Community Center to start soon


Tumwater is set to hire Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture next month to begin designing a community center.

The Tumwater General Government Committee endorsed BRS Architecture’s contract to the city council on Wednesday, June 12.

The city is moving forward with the firm out of the five companies that applied for the work. Tumwater previously hired the firm to design the same community center in 2004, which would have sited on an airport property off Tumwater Boulevard.

The committee considered whether to place the contract on the council’s consent agenda, which would mean it would be approved without discussion, but committee members preferred that the contract be discussed publicly. The committee also preferred to schedule the contract for the next regular city council meeting, which would not be until July 2, to allow people to comment on the matter publicly.

The proposed contract is for a maximum value of $221,733, which will cover the costs of the initial phases of the project. As part of the contract, BRS Architecture will conduct market and site analysis, facilitate public engagement activities, and develop the facility’s programming and project costs as well as potential revenue.

The city has not yet decided on the facility’s location; accordingly, the contract includes site analysis. Parks and Recreation Director Chuck Denney told the committee that possible locations include the airport property near Tumwater Boulevard, the old brewery property, the former Washington State Department of Transportation office on Capitol Boulevard, and an ongoing housing development on 93rd Avenue.

As part of the planning process, Denney said that the city will establish a steering committee to coordinate with BRS Architecture. The committee will be composed of city staff, a council member, a member of the city’s parks and recreation commission, at-large community members, and representatives from project partners such as Tumwater School District, Old Town Center, and the Tumwater Area Chamber of Commerce.

The city will also hold surveys and community workshops as part of the public engagement process to understand what the community wants for the facility.

YMCA interested in supporting the 93rd Avenue location

In choosing the location of the new community center, Denney mentioned that they will develop a matrix to assess their options based on various factors. One location that would not score well in terms of accessibility is the 93rd Avenue site as it would be too far away from the city center.

In April, Denney said that the YMCA is interested in supporting the city in exchange for funding support to construct a community center in this location where a new housing development is also being built.

Sarah Clinton of South Sound YMCA told The JOLT that the proposed facility would not only serve the specific housing development but also aim to meet the city’s needs.

Clinton added that the YMCA and Tumwater have been working together since 2018 to support the civic and recreational needs of the city through various partnerships such as this proposed community center.


2 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • PamelaJHanson

    Please, everybody show up at the July 2, 2024 City Council mtg. for your three minutes after the Pledge of Allegiance and before the Consent Calendar agenda item(s). Or, please, send a non-spam thoughtful email to justifying or not justifying their potential Consent Calendar $¼ Million spending. Keep in mind that emails and other communications, unless redacted or kept closed for potential law enforcement, investigative or legal boundary safety reasons where a victim may be harmed, in my opinion, are public records. Obviously, this community center is a continuation of the airport property community center boondoggle spending of the past. $1/4 Million in spending, give or take, even before acquiring a property again? Form yet another group to provide input while spending taxpayer monies - again? Speculation, price competitions, the building up of people's hopes… WOW! Now that is a suspenseful intro to the following: Where is Chuck Denny's, Mayor Debbie Sullivan's or City Administrator Lisa Parks' cost benefit analysis regarding spending almost $¼ Million even before a land purchase? Most actions before the City Council clearly state “staff recommends” or “approved as to form.” Where is the Port of Olympia's position on a “shared” community center location? The Port has plenty of land… Why, oh why, haven't they been setting aside the lodging tax monies specifically for a community center by now (as I have testified for before within an all day lodging tax meeting) instead of spending it on tourism venues over and over again? If I had my druthers, the community center can and should double as an “emergency services location” with a stand alone power generator - for use during a natural disaster such as a fire or a storm with or without a massive or prolonged power outage. But there is no land deal, is there? Open government meetings, etc? Bah humbug to you (with an RFA and Roundabout boondoggle smile) in July 2024!

    Saturday, June 22 Report this

  • RondaLarsonKramer

    I would like to correct Chuck Denny's statement to the JOLT and I suggest readers submit comments to the county (see directions below). The article states, "In April, Denney said that the YMCA is interested in supporting the city in exchange for funding support to construct a community center in this location where a new housing development is also being built." The housing development is not "being built." Rather, developers are currently trying to get the county to approve their proposal. The proposal violates the law (2022 UGA swap law). If the county approves the proposal, an appeal will follow. Also, putting multifamily housing outside the current urban growth area boundary will force low-income people to have to spend money on gas to drive far to work. This is not good for the climate and it would not constitute "affordable" housing. You can make your voice heard now. Go to Click on "submit a comment". Fill out the personal information and then click the checkbox for "Land Use." Leave the organization box blank.

    · Copy and paste the following comment into the comment survey above:

    Policy: UGA swaps allowed by laws passed in 2022 and 2024 must result in no net loss of rural or natural resource lands, no net increase in development capacity, and no net loss in protections for critical aquifer recharge areas. It is not enough to say there will be no net increase in total UGA acreage. Write a policy that prevents urbanization of our rural and natural resource lands and of our highest priority critical aquifer recharge areas. We must not create new mini cities in rural areas by misusing the new tool of UGA swaps.

    Sunday, June 23 Report this