By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
As of yesterday, the city-owned facility at 2800 SW Thistle that was Southwest Community Center is officially Southwest Teen Life Center and the future Southwest Neighborhood Service Center.
Four months after the planned change was announced by city leaders during a West Seattle media briefing, the new budget mandating the changeover is officially in effect, so we asked the city about the transition process.
We’ve subsequently learned the dates and plans for closing the Delridge Neighborhood Service Center and opening its replacement at Southwest, and also some things you need to know about what’s NOT changing at the Southwest building:
As is the case with Delridge now – ever since the closure of the Neighborhood Service Center in The Junction last year – the one at Southwest will be the only NSC in West Seattle. (If you’ve never been to an NSC, here’s what they offer.)
The NSC’s citywide are now under the wing of the city’s Finance and Administrative Services Department, whose spokesperson Katherine Schubert-Knapp tells WSB: “The Delridge lease expires at the end of March, so at this point, our goal is to close that site March 30 and open in Southwest on April 2. We don’t have any formal diagrams to share but the concept is to replicate the exact footprint we have in Delridge at Southwest. Parks needs to take a look at mechanical systems (HVAC, fire suppression, etc.) to see if this is doable.”
Parks, meantime, wants you to know that while “the facility is no longer operational as a community center,” as spokesperson Joelle Hammerstad puts it, the pool and Teen Life Center are “fully operational” (pool hours are here; Teen Life Center hours are here).
In addition, the facility is also continuing to host and offer private rentals. The Family Learning Program for homeschooling families – featured here in WSB coverage last fall – is continuing to operate there, Hammerstad says, and you can find their program offerings on page 15-16 of this brochure. So is EuropaKids International Preschool, and the Seattle Slam wheelchair-rugby program.
Plus, there’s a tot gym on Friday mornings for everyone, overseen by the Associated Recreation Council – you’re welcome, for $2 admission.
The changeover from community-center status, Hammerstad adds, is not affecting the adjacent Southwest Pool. But, there are a few dates she shared with us that facility users should know about:
Southwest Pool Neighborhood Appreciation Day: Saturday, Feb. 11, free refreshments in the lobby 12 noon – 2 pm and a free swim 1 – 2 pm.
Building closure: “The entire facility, including the pool, will be closed from March 26 – April 1 while the gym floors are refinished,” Hammerstad explains.
After that, as mentioned above, the new Neighborhood Service Center location is expected to open. But also:
The pool closure continues beyond April 1st: Immediately after the refinishing-related closure, the pool stays closed until April 16th for draining and preventive maintenance, but the rest of the facility will be open. (Hammerstad says the pool/gym work have to be done separately “because the fumes from the floor resurfacing will restrict anyone – other than staff working on the project – from being in the building.”)
We’ll continue following up on the transition.