Saturday, July 01, 2006

New Northgate Community Center, Branch Library and Park to Open July 15

The new the new Northgate Community Center, Northgate Park, and Northgate Branch of The Seattle Public Library will open to the public with festive community celebration beginning at noon on Saturday, July 15.

The new 20,000-square-foot Northgate Community Center, 10510 Fifth Ave. N.E., was funded by the voter-approved 1999 Community Centers Levy. The 1.67-acre park on the same site was funded by the Pro Parks Levy that voters approved in 2000.

The 10,000-square-foot branch at 10548 Fifth Ave. N.E. is the 18th project completed under the 1998 "Libraries for All" voter-approved building program.

The architect was The Miller/Hull Partnership. Absher Construction Co. was the contractor. ARC Architects provided site-planning services.

Artwork on the site includes glasswork for the branch library by Portland artist Dana Lynn Louis, metal waves for the plaza by Olympia artist Nikki McClure and glass blocks, birdhouses and resting places by Portland artist Linda Wysong for the sidewalk and a pedestrian path. A sculpture by artist Rita Kepner, which previously was located at the old Central Library, also was installed at the site. The Mayor's Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs managed the public art program.

The dedication ceremony begins at noon with co-emcees City Librarian Deborah L. Jacobs and Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Ken Bounds. Speakers include Mayor Greg Nickels, Library Board steward Greg Maffei, City Council President Nick Licata, and Northgate Project Advisory Team member Marilyn Firlotte. The Library book fairy "Lulu" and Cajun band "Bande Pastiche" are among the performers.

The rest of the schedule is as follows:

  • 12:20 p.m. - Doors open to facilities.
  • 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. - Bande Pastiche will perform Cajun music in the main area of the library.
  • 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. - Emerald City Jazz Orchestra will perform in the community center.
  • 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. - Linda Johns, a Seattle author and fiction librarian for The Seattle Public Library, will read from her new mystery for children, "Hannah West in the Belltown Towers," in the library meeting room.
  • 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. - RoRo the Clown will make balloon animals for children in the park.
  • 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. -- Jordan Louie, harpist, will perform in the community center.
  • 2 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. - The Library's precision book cart drill team, "The Bookineers," will perform in the parking area.
  • 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. - Zaid Abdul Aziz, former basketball player for the Seattle SuperSonics, will read from his new autobiography, "Darkness to Sunlight, the Life-Changing Journey of Zaid Abdul-Aziz," in the library meeting room.
  • 3:15 p.m. to 4 p.m. - Bakra Bata, a steel drum band from Seattle, and students from Summit School's steel drum band will perform in the plaza area.

Children can make "Lulu" hats in a craft program from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the library's children's area. The community center will have programming throughout the day. Starbucks Coffee Company will provide free coffee and snacks from noon to 4 p.m. in the plaza. Pacific Medical Center will provide free hot dogs, chips and water on the south side of the community center from noon to 4 p.m. Seattle Parks and Recreation will serve cake in the park. The branch and community center will remain open until 6 p.m.

About the buildings and park
The $8.85 million community center offers child care, activities such as teen camps, basketball leagues, classes, after-school programs, community meetings, and programs for seniors.

The new, $6.7 million branch will have a collection capacity of 40,200 books and materials, a meeting room, separate areas for children and teens, and 25 computers for the public.

The $4.8 million park plays an important part in addressing the open space needs of the densely developed neighborhood.

In addition, the Seattle Department of Transportation coordinated its work to improve Fifth Avenue Northeast with the construction of the buildings and the park. Improvements include landscaped medians, widened sidewalks, new street trees and a pedestrian promenade with an improved crosswalk that connects the new community center and library to the Northgate Mall.

Libraries for All
In 1998, Seattle voters approved a $196.4 million bond measure to fund improvements to all 22 existing branches, build new branches in underserved areas and construct a new Central Library. There are currently many projects in the active design or construction phase. For more information about the building program or branch opening, visit www.spl.org, or call (206) 386-4636.

Pro Parks Levy
Approved by Seattle voters in 2000, the $198.2 million Pro Parks Levy will fund more than 100 projects throughout the city over eight years. Projects include improvements to athletic fields, playgrounds, trails and community centers and parks. Funding will also increase green spaces, support zoo programs and enhance park maintenance.

Community Centers Levy
In 1999, voters approved $34 million in levy funds to improve existing community centers and build new ones throughout Seattle. Of the nine centers identified in the levy, the Northgate Community Center is the seventh to be completed. Van Asselt Community Center will be completed in December 2006. The Belltown Community Center will be constructed in a joint project with the Low Income Housing Institute.

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