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City announces proposed changes to community center operations

What do you think? Comments Off September 12, 2011 at 4:12PM

Many community centers, including the Green Lake Community Center, were hit hard by the 2011 City of Seattle budget.

The the wake of the budget cuts, Seattle Parks and Recreation was asked by the City Council to re-think how community centers are operated.

The re-visioning process has been underway for eight months. It has included the creation of a Community Center Advisory Teampublic meetings and other outreach efforts, a customer count at the city’s community centers, and the release of draft options for changing community center operations.

Earlier today (Monday, Sept. 12, 2011), Mayor Mike McGinn, Councilmember Sally Bagshaw and Christopher Williams, Acting Superintendent of Parks, announced their recommendations for Seattle community center operations for 2012. (You can read a play-by-play of the announcement on the West Seattle Blog.)

The proposed changes to community center operations will be included in the proposed 2012 City budget. The changes would save $1.23 million. Staff reductions would total 13.63 full-time positions and would reduce the hours of 75 people.
All community centers in Seattle would remain open, but with varying levels of service.

Service levels would be determined by potential economic justice impacts as well as a set of criteria that include: the condition of the building and the costs of maintaining it, past use of the building for drop-in use, paid use, and rentals, and the number of patrons served by scholarships.

If the proposal is adopted into the 2012 city budget, there would be five geographically-based service areas in Seattle, each with five community centers. The Green Lake Community Center would be grouped with the Bitter Lake, Loyal Heights, Ballard and Magnolia Community Centers.

Map showing proposed community center service areas and service levels. Click to see a larger PDF.

Parks Department staff would work with community members to establish operating hours and decide on programming at each community center, with an eye to avoiding duplication of programs within service areas. “For example,” a explanatory document from Parks [PDF] reads, “within a geographic service area, one center may open early while another stays open late; one may specialize in sports and another in the arts.”

The Green Lake Community Center would be a “Service Level 2a” facility, meaning it would be staffed by one full-time Coordinator, a .75 FTE Recreation Leader, a .75 FTE Recreation Attendant and a full-time Laborer.

The Associated Recreation Council (ARC) would continue to provide child care and registered programming outside of the hours when each community center is open for general public use.

The mayor will submit his 2012 budget proposal to City Council on Monday, Sept. 26. The Council will adopt the 2012 budget on Monday, Nov. 21.

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