Thursday, November 10, 2016

Musings on the city's Community/Aquatics Center plan

I've lived here 36 years and  love Redmond, but I'm not a proponent of the city's proposed $80M - $100M Recreation/Aquatics Center.  I'm concerned I and some of my neighbors will get taxed out of Redmond or even lose our homes. The schools are by far my family's budget priority and now with ST-3 passing I'm not 100% sure I can even pay for them.  In my opinion, the proposed Center is "Downtown Park v.2"  Too expensive, primarily for urban dwellers, a burden on the neighborhoods, hard to get to, and subject to cost over-runs.

When the Hartman Pool is demolished, it should be replaced with a Neighborhood Community Center.  The footprint is large and there's plenty of space.  A recent Education Hill Neighborhood Association poll indicated only 5 of 478 members wanted a new pool. Many asked for child services and a cafe with sandwiches and pastries. Meeting rooms, an organic produce market, music classes, teen life-skills classes, and revitalizing the beautiful treed land south of pool were some other requests.  

A downtown community/aquatics center is primarily an amenity for the urban dwellers.  Other than the city, who's to say our existing community center won't  have the capacity for Historical Society Meetings and recreational programs?  The Lake Washington School District would know.  We should start going to their business meetings and requesting transparency.

As for the aquatics center the train has left the station.  Our elected majority should have partnered with Kirkland and Lake Washington School District a long time ago to build an aquatics center when development costs were cheaper. I've heard Bellevue is considering aquatics near Bellevue College. Couldn't that be a viable alternative?

The incredibly rapid pace of city growth has put the Administration behind the eight-ball and panicking to "catch up."  Mine is one opinion.  I encourage you to visit the city's Redmond Community Center website and give them yours.

Bob Yoder, opinion 

No comments: