Arts and culture

Don't close QA Gym - look for other buildings to generate income

Do not close the QA Community center gym to get revenue for "BizKids" - a TV show! Please get creative and look for an alternative solution to rent to "BizKids" - e.g., closed school building, another neighborhood (why does this show have to be in Queen Anne? why not an industrial neighborhood?)


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  1. Comment
    Community Member

    Queen Anne Community Center is used not only by toddlers and elder citizens but many McClure Middle School after school programs including sports. I have been a parent volunteer and these programs are well attended by the school kids. Let's not turn it over to "Bizkids". High School students need volunteer hours, maybe higher open gym or user fees, publicize party rooms and meeting room rentals. Maybe have the farmers markets or Bite of Queen Anne benefits on the field ! Start thinking community.

  2. Comment
    Community Member

    A private company should rent a private space for their production. I don't think it is appropriate to tie up a public building that way for a year or more. If it has to be, I think there are more appropriate spaces to use - the Northwest Rooms at the Seattle Center come to mind, or how about the old QA High School Gym. It is on a month to month lease right now and has a private owner who might welcome a longer lease.

  3. Comment
    Community Member

    The Queen Anne Community Center unifies our neighborhood. The families that live here use it in countless ways. It truly is a source of community and enables us to get to know and care for each other, so its closure would be a terrible blow. It's a short-sighted decision to rob our community of its value.

  4. Comment
    Community Member

    Don’t close the Queen Anne Gym. This is an active facilitate and the home of 22 basketball teams, youth groups, senior programs and after school programs. This is a neighbor gym, where many of the residents walk, stroll and bike to. Closing the facility doesn’t mean that they will go to Magnolia or Ballard. They will just do without. We need to encourage community during these hard times. A place where people can go: interact, exercise and share with others.

  5. Comment
    Community Member

    I agree not to close the gym. It is used by kids after school, seniors, and is within walking distance and a safe place to go. Please try to find another building that doesn't have uses tied to it.

    Also, I agree, that having volunteers from high school would lessen the paying out of money to staff. Also, charge fees, like someone said. Good ideas.

  6. Comment
    Community Member

    Please do not use this valuable public facility for commercial use that can much better be served by locations that can serve better. The kids and families of Queen Anne will be crushed

  7. Comment
    Community Member

    BIZKIDS should be filmed at the EMP. I've proposed a solution like this many times in the past.

  8. Comment
    Community Member

    Please keep the QA gym open for our kids to continue to use. What kind of message are we sending our children when we close down a community gathering place and replace it with a TV show studio? My nine year old daughter read the headline and said "No they can't close the gym, where will we play basketball, where will my brother go to soccer and what about Family Fun Night?". Please reconsider.

  9. Comment
    Community Member

    As a long-term resident of Queen Anne I grew up on the hill, I spent many afternoons and evening at the Queen Anne Community Center while attending West QA Elementary, McClure Middle School and QAHS.

    Two out of three schools are now condominiums and the City of Seattle thinks we should close a public facility for a show that teaches kids about business and money?

    How ironic that the City of Seattle will sell off public buildings, or in the case of the QA Community Center, close it to the user willing to pay the highest rent. Public facilities are meant to allow all the citizens of Seattle a multi-use building. Not just the BIZKIDS, and the producers of the show really should be out there taking advantage of the vast amounts of vacant office space in the Seattle area now. I think Vulcan, Schnitzer West of a number of developers would welcome a tenant at this time.

    Queen Anne is a neighborhood without a lot of options for indoor public spaces. Closing the community center will drive a wedge between the residents of the hill and City Hall. Keep that in mind when the Council considers this action.

  10. Comment
    Community Member

    The Queen Anne Community Center should be used for just that-the community, not private industry. My family of 5 utilizes it for basketball, soccer, Skyhawks sport camps, pottery classes, family game night and birthday parties. It is an integral part of our community and affords so many people the opportunity to congregate and exercise. With the epidemic of childhood obesity and diabetes, our community needs a place to facilitate exercise. The elderly and less fortunate of our community deserve a convenient place to congregate as well. There are too many good alternatives to housing Bizkids to extract, quite literally, the "center" of the community from us.

  11. Comment
    Community Member

    This would be a devastating loss to our community. The city needs to realize that although their budget is strained so is that of the people they serve. Times like these community centers are especially critical, we NEED a place within walking distance for the community to come together. This is especially critical for the youth that have very limited options and financial means. If the city chooses to offset costs by sacrificing a program so important to the soul of our community they are clearly sending a message as to where their priorities lie.

  12. Comment
    Community Member

    Oh my... this is SUCH a bad idea for so many reasons! Community Member said it all very articulately. Please please please don't close our gym. Mayor McGinn... this is not the way to create community and encourage healthy, active children!

  13. Comment
    Community Member

    This is an idea led by unsound thinking. Our Queen Anne Community Center is the lifeblood of our neighborhood both for young and old. There is no community value in the proposal and will cost us dearly...what will the citizens have gained by allowing this group to come in? We will have not had access to their site for a year...for what profit? Let bizkids find other spaces--perhaps ones that can offer them longer lease terms. We have no idea how our site would be taken care of...with no oversight proposed I think we will be grossly taken advantage of. We are not the site they are looking for.

  14. Comment
    Community Member

    Please do not close the Queen Anne Community Center. Queen Anne is a very child friendly and community based neighbourhood. Children and Seniors alike need the center and would be terribly disappointed should it not remain open!

  15. Comment
    Community Member

    Reducing recreation space and the staff needed to program it is a false economy. We need Queen Anne, Green Lake, and the other centers scheduled for reductions more available not less.

  16. Comment
    Community Member

    As a more than 37 year resident of Queen Anne Hill and near-neighbor of the Queen Anne Rec Center(my wife and I live at 3rd Avenue West & West Howe Street) I think that it's absurd for the City of Seattle to be considering to rent out the gymnasium and a few other rooms in this facility to a private company, to the exclusion of the community at large.

    I began coaching basketball, soccer and baseball when our kids were seven years old and continued to be involved (particularly in basketball... in the gym) several years past the time when our son turned 18. And, hundreds of other kids (and adults) use and enjoy the gym throughout the year.

    The Rec Center and the gym inside it are heavily and enthusiastically used by a really wide range of age groups (including young people and seniors) and it just seems silly to me to hear that the City of Seattle is considering eliminating major parts of this facility from use by the general population.

    Maybe the BizKids business is a good idea, but its activities really shouldn't come at the expense of a public facility.

  17. Comment
    Community Member

    Save our gym!!! We need a safe and friendly area for kids to play. Otherwise where will we play and continue to build our community? Neighbors become family and this leads to a safe and healthy community. We need it please!! Don't let the neighbor hood go downhill. I love my community center!!

  18. Comment
    Community Member

    Isn't there another solution to bring in more revenue, yet still allow the community full access to the space? Have you thought about increasing usage fees, adding more revenue generating events (professional, educational, fun, etc)? What about a donation box? Please bring some creative solutions to this problem - will help the community feel that the city is pro family and pro community - something that's not always so obvious to those of us with children in Seattle.

  19. Comment
    Community Member

    I dont even have kids and cant imagine taking away such an important and necessary community landmark. Children are our future and without access to local, family orientated, social centers we willl all suffer from this short sighted mistake.

  20. Comment
    Community Member

    We are a young family with 3 children ages 5 and under. We've grown to love the QA Community Center as it's a wonderful place to play, explore and bond. The Center also offers an array of different activities to meet the needs of various demographics within the QA neighborhood. Please don't take this public space away from our community.

  21. Comment
    Community Member

    Not everyone on Queen Anne or in Seattle can afford to pay $5 a kid to play and $5 for a half of a PB&J sandwich at a private, for profit "kid friendly" coffee shop with a tiny play space. The community center provides a valuable place for toddlers and senior citizens alike, and all stages in between, to do activities and be part of the community without breaking the bank. Kids need to run around in open gym and others use it for recreation. The private business idea is a terrible idea. Listen to your constituents city council and reject this latest in ridiculous plans floated by our lame duck (I hope) one term mayor.

  22. Comment
    Community Member

    Closing a community gym for a tv show that teaches kids about business makes as much sense as shutting down an office building so kids can play sports in it.

    We need to open up and create more places for people in our communities to gather together in a positive way and be active in, not shut down the few that we have.

  23. Comment
    Community Member

    I have a toddler and was looking forward to using Toddler Gym as the rainy season starts this year. We already use the Queen Anne Community Center for its pool. Please do not close the gym!

  24. Comment
    Community Member

    For years, you have been farming out middle school out to kids from across the city, since QA did not have enough kids. The school has FAILED us because of this. LOOK at the test scores. Now that Queen Anne is thriving with kids ready to stay in the city. We NEED to use our community center. You should be IMPROVING the center, not taking it away. HAME on you. Get in TOUCH with the needs of the people, please. We have lived on QA for almost 20-years. But, now that our child is in elementary school, we are seriously considering moving to Bellevue - where civic leaders actually listen to the people.

    We are fighting to get it back.

  25. Comment
    Community Member

    As the owner of a production company that produces more broadcast work than any agency in the city, I can tell you that there are MANY facilities that BizKids can rent. Don't take our community center for this - unless you are planning to put 100% of the earnings back into the QA community center.

  26. Comment
    Community Member

    I appreciate the need to bring in new revenue for the city, but please don't take away a valued community resource just to make a few dollars! Surely there is another alternative space in this city that would be great for the BizKids production. It saddens me to think that in this day and age when we are needing more and more safe outlets for kids to exercise and move around and have fun, that the great City of Seattle is choosing to voluntarily close down our community gym. I, too, have a toddler and we enjoy coming on Tuesdays and Thursdays to the Toddler Gym. We'd come other days as well, if only it was open to us. I also have teenagers, and throughout their growing up years we always bemoaned the fact that the QACC Gym was not open to us for free play on Sundays. I can remember many a rainy Sunday when we wished we could shoot some hoops and run around in that gym. I know that economic times are hard, but it's time to embrace our community centers as valuable resources to be grown and energized, not cut and closed. Help the community take back the community center! It's time.

  27. Comment
    Community Member

    I've lived on Queen Anne my entire life. I have used the QACC since 1994 as a Queen Anne Little League coach. In fact, I recall taking my kids there the first practice of the '96 season - we would've been rained out otherwise, but the center allowed us a place to meet. Not only is the QACC a place for basketball and seniors programs (there aren't a lot of other places for seniors to take part in activities on the Hill), but it's been a key location for the Queen Anne Little League - Board meetings, etc. take place there. I imagine other groups employ the QACC in the same way. It's a great community meeting space and I can't think of many alternatives that don't involve private homes.

    Certainly another space can be found for this venture - one that doesn't displace so many people. As another Queen Anne resident pointed out above, we have every right to know where the revenue created would go (planning to fix Dexter Ave. N.?). Residents should dig their heels in unless legitimate reasons are given why THIS particular space is ideal.

  28. Comment
    Community Member

    Seattle Center is twahe place for BizKids not QACC...the heart and soul of Queen Anne....the best urban neighborhood in the city. Don't take it away from us. Kids need safe places to go and be active not the opposite. Maybe all the frivilous government spending of our tax dollars needs to stop.

  29. Comment
    Community Member

    I too grew up on QA and the "Field House" kept me and a lot of other middle school/high school kids out of trouble. I like the suggestion made by one resident to have the production crew rent the QA High School Gym instead.

  30. Comment
    Community Member

    Please don't close the gym! It has saved my family on many a rainy day. QA needs affordable, indoor spaces for exercise and community building.

  31. Comment
    A.M. Gwynn

    This has left all of us considering if the bigger picture, the real losers in all of this, has been forgotten. The forest for the trees?

    I completely understand the City Budget concerns. I guess I can even understand the cut backs, and layoffs of city employees; though it is tragic, and forces yet more Seattle families to struggle.

    What I do not understand however, is sacrificing kids. Because that is exactly what this is proposing we do. Sacrifice kids.

    I have held back in speaking my own reasons, as everyone has them, but this is too serious on so many levels not to at least attempt to remind you, of the real human drama involved in this proposal, the impact a little community center can have.

    Three years ago my youngest son suffered the unspeakable tragedy of losing his brother. I don't have to tell anyone how fragile adolescence is, and to suffer the loss of a sibling in adolescence?

    It was hard to reach my son during this time. He started attending the Queen Anne Community Center after school at McClure.

    He found strong, stable mentors there who helped him not only cope, but see a future for himself after the loss of his brother.

    I sit here tonight telling you that I don't believe he would have come out on the other side of this tragedy without that community center, and those people who mentored him there.

    He is now a Sophomore at Ballard High, yet he is still involved daily in that Community Center. Daily he goes there to do his volunteering with the younger kids, he is well liked by Staff, and has the hope of mentoring younger kids in a few months in a staff capacity. Paying it Forward.

    I do not mince words when I say that I believe that this community center saved him. The sense of care, compassion, and the hope that it provided him, kept him from spiraling downward into something tragic.

    There are many adolescents, younger children, who NEED what this community center and it's staff provide.

    I grow weary hearing how people "care" about the youth of this city when in the same breath they put the youth of this city at risk. Youth programs are one of the most important programs for any community, any city, large or small.

    Youth programs should be the very LAST thing considered when making any cuts, gaining any profits, forcing any change, as it directly impacts them profoundly.

    Mayor McGinn, City Council members, you have heard so many workable, more sensible alternatives to closing this gym. My story is simply one of hundreds in this city. Nay, thousands.

    We look to you to work around the issues in our best intrests, our childrens best interests. This proposal is a detriment to this entire community. It is most detrimental to this community's kids.

    Seattle CAN do better than this!

    Seattle should do better than this.

    A.M. Gwynn

  32. Comment
    Community Member

    This is the worst idea I've heard from the City in a long time.

    Just. Plain. Stupid.

    J. Schrock, taxpayer

  33. Comment
    Community Member

    Please keep the QA Community Center open. It is a vital resource for all ages in our community. To turn the gym into a money-making opportunity flies in the face of Queen Anne, and Seattle's, commitment to neighborhoods and families.

  34. Comment
    Community Member

    Take our gym away and cut us at the knees, give it to a for-profit group to rent and stab us in the heart. Our community needs our center and it's gym. It good for our future city leaders (our children!) and the general public at large. How will you explain this to the federal govt. should we need the gym in case of an emergency? Keep the center open for its original, intended purpose.

  35. Comment
    Community Member

    The QA community center should be for the community. It shouldn't be closed off to the community for any reason. I agree that there are many other locations for a business to set up shop other than a public community center. My 4 1/2 yr son just started going to Soccer there, we are planning to attend the family fun night this Friday at the QA community center. How do you expect to have a solid community if you take away public places for such gatherings. Don't close the QA community center off from the community.

  36. Comment
    Community Member

    The Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce is strongly opposed to this proposal to close the QA gym to rent it to a tv production crew for an entire year.

    We understand the budget shortfall. However, a more suitable space could be found in the Northwest Rooms at the Seattle Center, or by renting the former Queen Anne High School gym... other options exist.

    Additionally, does the city realize that the building has wiring from the 1950s, which will blow a fuse when you plug in two coffee pots at the same time? It would be impossible to run all the equiment needed for the tv show.

    Our neighborhood may seem prosperous at first glance, but there are also many low-income seniors, people in apartments and families needing healthy options for play and sports. We vote and pay taxes and do not deserve this unfair closure of our only public gym.

  37. Comment
    Community Member

    My daughter has played on one of the Queen Anne Community Center basketball teams for two years. This year, she decided not to play soccer so that she can focus on basketball. When my husband takes my daughter to practice, there are very few places to go, especially if it is raining. If the gym gets closed, where can she play? There are no other options for basketball in the City for 10-year-old girls. I'm hoping my 7-year-old son will be able to start basketball this year. Please keep the gym available for the Queen Anne community and not devoted to one use.

  38. Comment
    Community Member

    I don't understand why Seattle would want to give up a valuable community resource such as the QACC at all. And for a TV show production space? There is TONS of empty office space downtown, in Ballard, QA, etc. I'm sure there is something else that would be suitable. This is goofy!

  39. Comment
    Community Member

    We are all impacted from the economic downturn in WA state. We have turned to our families and community for comfort to get us through this stressful time. Please do not make our families suffer further and take away the community center to rent it out to a TV production company.

  40. Comment
    Community Member

    Closing the Queen Anne Gym to film a t.v. show is about as anti-family friendly, anti-community a move as you can get. It's disturbing that such a deal could even be considered, let alone be struck in such an untransparent manner.

    Are there not many empty spaces at the Seattle Center that could serve as a filming space?

  41. Comment
    Community Member

    Queen Anne has no Y, no Boys and Girls Club, no Senior Center. It has the QA Community Center which serves all those functions. It is heavily used by the community as a gathering place, a place for civic meetings and as a rental facility for receptions, birthday parties and special events. A church rents it on Sunday as its congregational space. Plus it is a designated emergency shelter. Give up all this for a commercial venture????

  42. Comment
    Community Member

    Why single out one neighborhood for this? What happens to all the great community programs this facility provides? Where are the kids supposed to go? THe streets?

  43. Comment
    Community Member

    Is it true that the gym is planned to be remodeled for the BizKids show, and that once they are through with that and have vacated the QACC, the space will no longer be viable as a gym (ie, the flooring, etc)? ALSO - I have heard that in addition to the gym space, the BizKids venture will take over additional rooms for office space? THat is what seems to be happening, as literally 30 or more programs (classes) that do not take place in the gym, are being "relocated" to what they are calling "nearby" Community Centers - Capitol Hill or MOntlake (THESE ARE NOT NEARBY! and isnt Mayor McGinn trying to discourage car travel? Moving neighborhood activities 5+ miles outside the neighborhood wont help in that regard)

  44. Comment
    Community Member

    Enough with allowing private, for-profit companies to take over our community spaces!

    I'm angry about this. I voted for Mayor McGinn because he promised that our citizens and communities and families would come first, not private, profit-making interests.

    Keep ALL of our community centers open. Don't sell the Queen Anne space to a private company and throw the rest of us out!

  45. Comment
    Community Member

    BizKid$ are true to their word that they had no intention of disrupting existing programs and have withdrawn from the proposed rental. So we have our space back. Now we need to restore the staff and budget so we can rejoin the 20 community centers which were not affected by this hit.

  46. Comment
    Community Member

    I just read all the reasons for closing the community center. What the Mayor is basically telling us is that because the city cut the budget in the past you re not making enough money so we are just going to close you down. Why not instead open the center for longer hours and extend the childcare program? Would this not generate revenue as well? I tried to enroll my children, 3 of them, in childcare there and was informed there was a wait list. Extending the childcare as well as the other activities offered adn opening the pool for longer periods of free swim time would generate $ and assist in keeping the center open. Who cares if its accross from the middle school... Mr. Mayor, it it our children at the middle school that use this center as well and closing it does them no justice. Please take a step back and remember the promises you made when you were campaigning and asking for votes.

  47. Comment
    Community Member

    I was recently turned on to the Queen Anne Community Center and have now taken two terms of a pottery class. I plan to take more. I was amazed to learn of all the classes they have and what a great community space it is. I think the problem is that few people know about the value it provides and could provide. Maybe if the City could find a small piece of budget to promote its community center programs it would raise the cash needed to keep it open. I wish I knew about the community center sooner. There are so many opportunities with all of our city's community centers.

  48. Comment
    Community Member

    Queen Anne Community Center hasn't had proper advertising to promote it's classes. One person is responsible (paid for 20 hours of work a week) for the listings of ALL Seattle Community Center classes plus the website which is difficult to use by our vast Seattle community. We need more paying students for income for CC programs. Queen Ann needs community members to get the word out about the adult classes offered. Most people walk by the building and don't know there's a pottery studio there. The classes have to be canceled when only 6 people sign up for a class. There are people who will come and take classes if they know they are just up the street and reasonably priced. Community members can volunteer to design a blog. There could be volunteers to organise this kind of support. We are a community in hard times. Our taxes are not covering the costs to run our community bldgs so we can come together to help out. We need more encouragement to do this.

  49. Comment
    Community Member

    If the Queen Anne Community Center's gym stays open get the word out via blogs that there are evening classes in the pottery room while the gym is open we can generate more income for QACC with more students in the classes. It's absolutely nessesary for good advertising.

  50. Comment
    Community Member

    I get to QACC by bus to take pottery classes. I love the community the pottery teacher inspires there. I've grown tremendously by her support and instruction. I have started making artwork in clay at home and fire it a kiln at home. I continue to take the class at QACC for community, inspiration and guidance.

    We need more advertizing to increase the class size to pay for equiptment. Our instructor volunteered to sell her donated clay work along with ours to raise money thru the summer festival there. She didn't receive the banner made for her booth so the festival attendants mostly didn't notice she was part of QACC. Some people who did see it didn't know there was a pottery studio in QACC at all.

    For the festival advertising QACC paid a graphic artist to make the posters that didn't have any effect since they didn't arrive in time to put out in the neighborhood until the day of. Perhaps the community could gather as volunteers to help out with getting the word out about events and classes in a timely way since QACC has had a history of not doing that well.How can the business run if people don't know what it has to offer people?