On January 11, 2012 the Rainier Beach Community Center Advisory Council met to discuss programming and other issues regarding the Rainier Beach Community Center. Advisory Council member Vic Roberson and Justina Guyott were in attendance along with Seattle Parks and Recreation staff, four SE Seattle FreedomNet Citizen Journalist reporters.
1. There is interest from Rainier Beach residents, neighbors and teens in the programming aspect of the Rainier Beach Community Center a $25 million, 46,500 square foot investment.
2. Information about the challenges Seattle Parks and the neighborhood faces regarding operations of the Rainier Beach Community Center is available.
1. Parks does have funding for the operation of the Rainier Beach Community Center and pool in its budget for 2013 when it is scheduled to open, $1 million annually
2. Parks is open to meeting with stakeholders in the neighborhood to develop a communications plan to get people involved and to keep them inform over the next two years.
Most Controversial Thing Heard
1. The YMCA as operator of the Rainier Beach Community Center. The difficult financial landscape makes if difficult to envision opening the RBCC without substantial support from other sources other than the City’s General Fund.
2. If funding is required to come from existing Seattle Parks resources, Parks would have to close several of the other community centers completely; reduce operating hours at a number of community centers or reduce ongoing maintenance
Implications for the Rainier Beach Neighborhood
1. The residents, service providers, immigrant and refugee community and other institutions must come together. If not Seattle Parks will do what they think is best which may not be in the best interest of residents, service providers immigrant and refugee communities etc……Next meeting is February 23, 2012, 6-7:30 at the Rainier Beach Library
2. This matter needs to be turned into a public safety issue, a point very astutely stated by RBCC Advisory Council member Justina Guyott. If done right the new Rainier Beach Community Center and pool will contribute to a reduction in crime in our neighborhood in addition to supporting other quality of life issues