In October of this year, the former US Bank building at the center of the Skyway was donated to the community. With a coalition of community organizations, service providers, and neighborhood groups at the helm, the bank saw the value of offering their former bank site so that it could be transformed into a neighborhood resource center, based on the model of the HUD’s EnVision program. Along with grants from the State Department of Commerce and King County, spearheaded with the help of councilmember Girmay Zahilay, the King County Housing Authority was able to possession of the site on behalf of the community.
Schemata Workshop first engaged with the community back in 2013, to help with the vision for a Skyway Community Center. The current efforts are directly building off the results of that report. There is a direct correlation to some of the goals set previously, which can be satisfied here at the resource center. In particular, group meeting spaces, health checks, learning spaces, cultural resources, and opportunities to meet your neighbors, and more are all very possible program elements that will be fulfilled here.
Starting in October, Schemata Workshop began the Community Design Process that will help inform the eventual program and design for the building and its site. Each month from October through December we have been participating in one of the Friday pop-up service events that are being held across the street at the King County Fire District 20. We are soliciting information onsite, directly with the providers and guests, regarding what services are used and most requested, how they access and use the resource center, and even information on how the site could physically and visually be transformed. At the pop-up events we’ve also been able to invite community to stop by the bank to peek inside the building.
In addition to the in-person work, we are encouraging neighbors to take the online survey, which corresponds to the feedback we are soliciting at this time. Please follow this link to participate and provide you input: https://form.jotform.com/212675300627048
We strongly believe that Community Design and Engagement process is critical to the eventual success of the project. Not only does it specifically provide input for the planning for the Resource Center, but it allows the design team to better understand the community more broadly, which ultimately enriches the design. We want this site to be treasured by the community for years to come. By playing a role in the Community Design process the community can feel invested in the final product.
We are looking forward to 2022 being a great year for the transformation of this building and site. We believe it will strengthen the core of the Skyway neighborhood both physically and spiritually.