Parks presents information on the Community Center bond at Senior Center

Monday, July 29, 2019

Eric Friedli and Angie Ramirez answer questions
about the Senior Center space in the new
Community and Aquatics Center
Photo by Jarred Wright
By Diane Hettrick

Eric Friedli, Director of Parks, Recretation, and Cultural Services and Angie Ramirez, Spartan Rec Center Supervisor, made a presentation at the Senior Center on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at 10am to show plans for the proposed Community and Aquatics Center, which appears slated for the November ballot in Shoreline.

The Senior Center did not have a place in the original design of the building but after the public feedback, the design was modified to include room for Senior Center activities.

The revised design has a commercial kitchen, essential for the Meals on Wheels program. It provides 6000 square feet for senior activities, which includes the 1200 sq ft kitchen.

Attendees at the session questioned the location of the building, and the environmental impact of using that much fresh water for swimming. Friedli said that the pool would rarely be drained - that the current pool was drained only for repairs.

The need for a new pool was questioned. Why not just repair the old one? Friedli pointed out that the pool is 50 years old. He said that they no longer make parts for the equipment that runs the pool. They had to search the entire United States to find parts for the last repair.

There were many questions about how much it would cost each homeowner to pay for the bond. The answer was about $16 a month.

The current Senior Center is in a building owned by the School District. The District has a cordial relationship with the SC and has expressed no interest in redeveloping the site.

Attendees seemed shocked that the 12,000 sq ft in the current building would be reduced to 6000 sq ft in the new building. Director Friedli said that designing the interior space more efficiently would make up for the loss of square footage.

There are no bathrooms near the SC space but Friedli said that he was aware of that and that some redesign could take place to add bathrooms after the bond had been voted in. 

Other concerns were the lack of office and work space, seating space and tables for the daily lunch serving, room for a small stage, and space for different kinds of activities, both quiet such as yoga and loud such as the clogging classes. The medical services and advisory services need private spaces, and some need dedicated spaces.

Another issue was that there is no storage space in the building. The Meals on Wheels program needs to take early morning deliveries, and safely store foods at different temperatures. Classes and activities have materials that need to be stored onsite.

Other feedback included needed changes to the parking lot to safely bring in Access vans, school buses, and drop offs to allow parents to bring children to and from swim lessons. 

A shared hallway was a concern for some, who felt that seniors using canes and walkers would be vulnerable in a crowded hallway. The design shows a very long hallway after a long walk in from the parking lot. However, Friedli said that it's really not very different from the current building.

Curbs are an obstacle for many seniors and extremely difficult for those in wheelchairs, walkers, and canes. Curb cuts can be dangerous for those with mobility issues.

There is no room in the building for the Bargain Center Thrift Shop, a fundraiser for the SC. 

Attendees wondered if the City would continue to support the Center with a financial contribution and if the SC would have to pay rent in the new building.

The issue of scheduling was discussed. Ms Ramirez assured the group that the Senior Center would have control over its space during the day but not at night, so evening programs would have to compete with other activities. This, however, is not in the written documents. Priority would be given to building residents over outside activities. 

Seniors pointed out that the population of the area is aging and expressed concern that they would be asked to pay a high price for reduced services.

"We're always an afterthought," one commented after the meeting.


Unknown July 29, 2019 at 5:01 PM  

As the Chief Operating Officer of Sound Generations, I have been working with senior centers since 2000 and I have advocated with King County and City of Seattle for funding to support the model. I am a big fan of what senior centers offer the community. The opportunity to integrate senior programming into a new multi generational community center is very exciting and will not only meet the needs of current seniors, but will also have great appeal for emerging seniors from the Boomer Generation. We are also exploring this model in Lake City with the Seattle Parks Department. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Anonymous,  August 2, 2019 at 10:39 AM  

As the CEO of Sound Generations, I’m very excited about this opportunity to build a multi-generational community center in Shoreline. It’s great to be able to partner with the City of Shoreline to improve the services available to the community. This has been a collaborative process identifying the requirements and ensuring there will be adequate space for senior programming. This new community center will enable Shoreline to be a great place to grow up and grow old.

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