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News Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Council Roundup: Bellevue Youth Theatre expansion discussed

Also, city receives grant for new power generators

The Bellevue City Council on Monday reviewed a proposal recommending expansion of the popular Bellevue Youth Theatre to a location adjacent to the Crossroads Community Center.

Council directed staff to return in September to seek approval for an architectural contract to design a new center to serve BYT's needs. Funds to design the new theater will come from the city's existing capital budget. Construction is not fully funded at this time.

During its 18-year existence, BYT has grown into one of  the Parks & Community Services Department's most popular programs. The theater conducts nine performances a year, entertaining thousands of patrons, and provides summer and school-break day camps and theater classes.

In 2001, under an agreement with the Bellevue School District, BYT was relocated from Crossroads Community Center to a portion of the former Ivanhoe Elementary School. BYT soon outgrew the Ivanhoe facility, and in 2005 plans were developed to renovate the school for its needs.

However, renovation was estimated to cost approximately $2 million, with roughly half the costs needed to address building code upgrades. Escalating construction costs since 2005, together with changes to the Building Code, combined to increase the estimated cost of expansion at Ivanhoe to nearly $3.5 million.

The high cost, coupled with limited expansion capabilities at Ivanhoe, and the fact that Ivanhoe site is not owned by the city, prompted staff to explore other expansion alternatives, and Becker Architects was selected to complete a site and building feasibility study. Multiple options and locations were studied at the Ivanhoe site, Crossroads Community Park, and in the Bel-Red Corridor. 

Feedback: Glenn Kost, 425-452-5258

City receives state grant to buy emergency portable generators
Bellevue has received a $296,000 state grant to purchase two large portable power generators that can be used at shelters, fire stations and other city facilities during emergencies.

The grant was secured through the efforts of  Rep. Deb Eddy. Bellevue City Council members had sought funding for the generators following the severe December 2006 windstorm that temporarily knocked out power to Bellevue and Eastside residents and businesses.

"The acquisition of these generators is a very big deal," Mayor Grant Degginger said, adding that the purchase will allow the city to provide more assistance to residents when the next emergency occurs.

City staff are expected to immediately begin the purchasing process for the large generators, which are towed from place to place by truck.

Feedback: Nora Johnson, 425-452-4167

The Council Agendas and Council Minutes pages offer complete information regarding Council meetings.

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