On Nov. 4, the Parks Department will begin converting the entire second floor of the Green Lake Community Center (7201 E Green Lake Dr N), including the large room occupied by the Toddler Play Space, into offices.
The Toddler Play Space is closing on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010.
On Sept. 27, Mayor McGinn presented his 2011 City of Seattle budget recommendations to City Council. If the Council accepts his recommendations, the Green Lake Community Center will lose six FTE staff and will operate under “Limited-Use Status.” 28 Parks Department staff members will be moving into the Green Lake Community Center.
Although final decisions about the 2011 city budget have not yet been voted on by City Council, the Parks Department needs to begin converting the space now, should offices be needed in January 2011. Katie Gray, Parks Department North Recreation Manager, says that if the City Council’s budget does not necessitate moving offices into the Green Lake Community Center, the work will be reversed and the second floor rooms will once again be available for classes and the Toddler Play Space.
Gray says that no permanent structural changes will be made to the rooms on the second floor. The office spaces will be created using removable cubicles, and the wood floors will be covered in order to protect them from damage.
Even if the mayor’s recommendations are accepted by City Council, drop-in play for toddlers will not disappear entirely from the community center. Jeff Skinner, Green Lake Community Center Coordinator, says that play equipment will be available in the community center’s gym. However, the equipment will only be available for a few of hours a day, probably between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. This will be a huge reduction from the current opening hours (10-7 Monday-Friday and 10-4:30 on Saturdays).
According to Jeff Skinner, classes that are currently being held on the community center’s second floor, such as the popular classes offered by early childhood music teacher Katy Webber, will be moved to the teen room on the first floor of the community center until the end of the year. In Jan. 2011, the teen room will become a meeting space for parks employees, and many of Green Lake’s classes will be run out of the Northgate Community Center and the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center.
Early today, I asked Mayor McGinn about the cuts to Green Lake Community Center under his proposed budget. “We had to make hard decisions,” he said. “Fortunately, we were able to keep most services at Green Lake, including the pool and open gym.”
You can use this form to send your thoughts about the budget to City Council.
Full Disclosure: I am a member of the Green Lake Community Center Advisory Council.