Celebration park center spot


Staff writer

The Federal Way City Council officially picked Celebration Park last week as the site for the proposed new community center, senior center and pool, and city officials now are putting together their preferences for programs and amenities in the facility.

After returning from an overnight trip to Denver, Colo. July 12 to view recreational facilities there, council members told consultants they want a larger leisure pool, a grand lobby with a drop-in teen center, a climbing wall, a vaulted community room with a view of Mount Rainier, class and party rooms, three basketball courts and a spa area with wet and dry saunas, as well as a fitness area and jogging track.

Travel expenses to Denver cost just under $5,000, which council members said probably will be rolled into the budget for the project, according to assistant city manager Derek Matheson.

The breakdown for six of the seven council members (Councilman Dean McColgan didn’t go), city manager David Moseley and community center advisory group chairman C.T. Purdom included $2,893 for air fare, $238 to rent a car, $990 for the hotel, and $611 for meals and incidental expenses, for a total of $4,732, Matheson said.

At a community center update July 15, council members said a large leisure pool where kids could play on water slides and other equipment could draw visitors from across south King County during the rainy season.

Several council members said they liked the idea of a climbing wall, and most liked the drop-in teen center at one of the Denver rec sites they visited, where teen activities were integrated into a grand lobby.

Councilman Jack Dovey said a community room should be able to accommodate a crowd of 300 in order to draw more people, and McColgan said Federal Way needs more community space where sports teams or civic organizations could have awards ceremonies.

“Party rooms for sports teams are hard to come by,” he said.

Councilman Mike Park said the Asian community might like a spa area, with a wet and dry sauna. Even if the city’s Asian residents didn’t use the pool or work out, he said, they might use the community center just for the sauna.

A couple council members also said they’d like a cafe and juice bar in the center.

Park said the center might need to be bigger than planned.

“We shouldn’t regret right after opening the community center, ‘Oh, this is too small,’” he said.

Still, Park warned against building too big, because neighboring cities will build their own community centers eventually.

“We’re not going to enjoy the monopoly forever,” he said. “Building a community center is very important, but without an appropriate and thorough business plan, we might end up with a hot potato.”

The council will meet for another community center update Aug. 5, when consultants will present draft programming and cost estimates.

Staff writer Erica Hall: 925-5565,

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