Bellevue Youth Theatre Construction
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To better serve our community's need for more theater space and address other issues with the current Bellevue Youth Theatre, the city is constructing a new theatre in Crossroads Park. The new $8.8 million theater will offer versatility of use and environmentally friendly features. Video of planned theater
Crossroads Community Center and Park are open for summer fun during constructions. Please be aware that the Community Center's parking lot continues to be impacted by the construction of the Bellevue Youth Theatre. Thank you for parking in one of the other three Crossroads Park parking lots.
Construction started in May 2013, with completion anticipated in fall 2014. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience during construction. We will work hard to maximize safety and minimize impacts to your use of Crossroads Park. Please note that:
- Crossroads Community Center will remain open during most of the construction. Community Center parking will be detoured to the closest lot - the north parking lot at 15801 NE 15th Street.
- Some walking paths through the park will be impacted and detoured.
Please stay tuned to this website for construction updates.
Founded in 1990, the Bellevue Youth Theatre (BYT) has grown into one of the Parks & Community Services Department's most popular programs. The theater presents 10 productions each year, entertaining thousands, and provides summer and school-break day camps and theater classes.
In 2001, under an agreement with the Bellevue School District, the theater 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 the Youth Theatre’s 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 the city does not own the Ivanhoe site, prompted staff to explore other expansion alternatives through a site and building feasibility study. Multiple options and locations were examined before determining that constructing a new theater at Crossroads Community Park made the most practical sense. Existing land ownership and the adjacent community center allows the two facilities to share existing parking and programming opportunities, resulting in a smaller theater footprint.
The New Theater
The new 12,000-square-foot theater will include a flexible black box theater-in-the-round that can be configured to accommodate between 100 and 150 seats. Support facilities include a box office, lobby, "green room," rehearsal space, storage and outdoor theater capabilities. The new facility will be integrated into the park with a green roof providing a natural insulator, resulting in significant energy savings while limiting the impact of stormwater runoff. The facility will be fully accessible and designed to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification standards.
A video of the planned theater and project illustrations offer additional project details. Project fact sheet and location map (updated November 2011)
Construction costs for the new theater are approximately $8.8 million. A combination of existing city funds, grants, the 2008 Parks & Natural Areas Levy funds and fundraising efforts by the Bellevue Youth Theatre Foundation will provide project funds.
The BYT Foundation supports this project in order to create capacity to continue growth of this successful program, to protect the theater’s mission of inclusiveness, to bring the theater up to standards expected of Bellevue Parks’ facilities, to fulfill the BYT business plan strategy for expansion, and to demonstrate the effectiveness of city/community partnership in the long-range vision for Bellevue. The expansion will allow the BYT to continue to serve the community for many years to come.