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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Council Roundup: Partnership could net new gym at park

City councilmembers expressed enthusiasm for a proposed partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue (BGCB) that would allow the organization to build and operate a gymnasium at Hidden Valley Park. The non-profit group and the city would share the costs for upgrades to sportsfields and other improvements for community use.

Hidden Valley Park, a 17-acre community park with three sportsfields (one of them lighted), is located on the west side of 112th Avenue Northeast, south of Northeast 24th Street and a few blocks north of downtown. Other park amenities include a 140-car parking lot, playground, lighted tennis court, restrooms and pathways.

Under the proposal considered Monday, Bellevue would lease land for the gym to the BGCB for $1 per year and gain community access to the gym space when the BGCB is not using it. For its part, the BGCB would construct and operate the gym. The organizations would share the costs of converting the lighted field to synthetic turf, converting two other infields to turf and adding an unlighted sportsfield.  

The total cost of the proposed project is $9.6 million. The BGCB would pay $6.8 million to build the gym (estimated construction cost is $4 million), upgrade the sportfields and make other site improvements; the City of Bellevue would pay $2.8 million for site improvements and the sportsfields.

Previously, the BGCB had asked the city about using Surrey Downs Park for a new facility; officials at the non-profit also asked about acquiring city-owned land at Bellevue Way and Northeast 20th Street. Bellevue and the BGCB have partnered before. In 2003, the BGCB agreed to contribute $1.5 million to the construction of the South Bellevue Community Center, where is currently provides programs to youth and teens. 

Councilmember Kevin Wallace called the Hidden Valley Park proposal a "fantastic opportunity," noting that his parents watched him play basketball at the existing Boys & Girls Club gym on 100th Avenue Northeast, and he’s watched his children play at the same gym.

Before an agreement is signed, a public outreach effort must be launched to educate the community about the proposal and seek feedback, funding must be secured, more contract details must be hammered out, and additional engineering and design work needs to be completed.

For more information, see the council study session material at http://www.bellevuewa.gov/pdf/City%20Council/PacketStudySession8-6-122b.pdf

Feedback: Glenn Kost, Planning & Development Manager, 425-452-5258 or gkost@bellevuewa.gov

Update on efforts to attract visitors to Bellevue

Also on Monday, the City Council heard an update on efforts by Visit Bellevue Washington, a marketing effort started last year to promote the city to out-of-towners.

Managed by the Meydenbauer Center convention operation, recent work has focused on developing ways to measure the success of the promotions.

Councilmembers were told that estimated visitor impacts on Bellevue in 2011 included 848,000 overnight visitors and 405,000 "day-trippers" who spent an estimated $484 million in the city, generated $44 million in local and state tax revenue, and accounted for 7,634 jobs.

Visit Bellevue Washington is the city's official destination marketing organization. Primary funding comes from Meydenbauer Center’s budget. Businesses and nonprofits contribute funding as "affiliates," including the City of Bellevue.

For more information on Visit Bellevue Washington, visit the project website at http://www.visitbellevuewashington.com/. A recently produced video that promotes the city and region is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqbSjh0V4mM

And, Civic Services efforts earn awards

Nora Johnson, director of the Civic Services Department, which manages the city's facilities, property and equipment, briefed councilmembers on three recent awards.

  • City Hall: The Building Owners and Managers Association recognized Bellevue City Hall as the region's Outstanding Building of the Year for 2012. The award is based on criteria such as design, security and energy conservation. The building was in the top 10 percent for energy savings.
  • Vehicle fleet: Government Fleet Magazine ranked Bellevue 12th on its 2011 list of 100 Best Fleets in North America. Industry experts evaluated 3,800 applications in 12 areas, including competitive pricing, environmental stewardship, maintenance quality, technology and staff development. Bellevue maintains about 800 vehicles in its fleet.
  • Commute program: Enterprise Seattle, which works with public and private organizations to encourage changes in commute behavior, awarded Bellevue a Diamond Award for its Commute Trip Reduction program. At City Hall, 57 percent of employees (excluding Police Department staff) commute to work by means other than driving alone.

"The common thread among the three awards is the quality of our staff," Johnson said.

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