The fight to save the gym at QA Community Center

Posted on September 29th, 2010 by Editor


A proposal to close the gym at the Queen Anne Community Center was met with strong opposition during Wednesday night’s public hearing on the city budget.  Under the mayor’s plan, the gym will be closed in 2011 to make room for BizKid$, a national public television series for children.  BizKid$ will use the gym as a production studio until at least the end of 2011.  Volunteers and supporters of the community center showed up Wednesday in Northgate to tell the City Council they want the gym to stay open.

“Yesterday afternoon the phone was ringing off the hook.  All kinds of parents and coaches wanted information,” said Pat Barger who serves as a volunteer at the community center.


A sign urging the City Council to keep the gym open

The community center gym and McClure’s gym are used by 22 youth basketball teams, and Barger isn’t sure how many of those teams can be relocated.  The gym is also used for several other programs.  Even though the rest of the community center will remain open, Barger fears BizKid$ may eat up other space in the facility.

“It impacts everyone from babies to the elderly.”

The community center will also go from 5 full time staff members to one full time person and two half-time staff members.

Another impact from the proposed budget involves the East Queen Anne wading pool, which will only be open three days a week next summer just as it was this year.


A crowd lines up to speak at Wednesday night’s budget hearing in Northgate

To see more on the mayor’s proposed budget, click here.  

The next public hearing on the budget takes place Wednesday, October 13 at South Seattle Community College at 5:30pm.  The City Council has also set up a  web page where you can submit ideas to balance the budget and vote on other suggestions.


  • Skeeb

    So… given that QA has more resources than most Seattle Community Centers, can we raise whatever $$$ that the city is getting from BizKids to restore our gym?

  • Skeeb

    So… given that QA has more resources than most Seattle Community Centers, can we raise whatever $$$ that the city is getting from BizKids to restore our gym?

  • MsFrench

    Skeeb, that’s a noble gesture, but the City believes they’ll be getting well over $100,000 from Bizkids for the gym rental. That may be too ambitious even for our community. I think what needs to happen is for the Parks Dept administration to hear from the Queen Anne Community, so that they really understand the impact that our gym closure would have on us. I was at a meeting of community center staff, advisory council members and Parks Dept representatives on Tuesday evening, where I listened to them explain that they chose Queen Anne because we don’t need our gym as much as other neighborhoods need theirs. How they came to that conclusion is unclear, but I think if they hear from all of the groups on QA that will be affected, it may help them understand that this will be a huge mistake. Our gym is used for basketball leagues, toddler playtime, senior exercise programs, indoor soccer, community events… literally every age group all day long. This Bizkids production could easily be moved to another site, perhaps even one that’s slated to close anyway. If Bizkids wants to ‘partner’ with the Parks Dept badly enough, maybe they can pay for the staff and upgrades to keep the gym open!

  • MsFrench

    Skeeb, that’s a noble gesture, but the City believes they’ll be getting well over $100,000 from Bizkids for the gym rental. That may be too ambitious even for our community. I think what needs to happen is for the Parks Dept administration to hear from the Queen Anne Community, so that they really understand the impact that our gym closure would have on us. I was at a meeting of community center staff, advisory council members and Parks Dept representatives on Tuesday evening, where I listened to them explain that they chose Queen Anne because we don’t need our gym as much as other neighborhoods need theirs. How they came to that conclusion is unclear, but I think if they hear from all of the groups on QA that will be affected, it may help them understand that this will be a huge mistake. Our gym is used for basketball leagues, toddler playtime, senior exercise programs, indoor soccer, community events… literally every age group all day long. This Bizkids production could easily be moved to another site, perhaps even one that’s slated to close anyway. If Bizkids wants to ‘partner’ with the Parks Dept badly enough, maybe they can pay for the staff and upgrades to keep the gym open!

  • QA Hill

    My husband uses that gym sometimes while playing in a basketball league. It would be horrid to close a gym and let some company use it just as floor space. This idea stinks!

  • QA Hill

    My husband uses that gym sometimes while playing in a basketball league. It would be horrid to close a gym and let some company use it just as floor space. This idea stinks!

  • Laura Leahy

    The TV crew also wants loads of extra space at the community center for their offices. It seems like the community is being pushed out of our own building.

  • Laura Leahy

    The TV crew also wants loads of extra space at the community center for their offices. It seems like the community is being pushed out of our own building.

  • thatgirlkelly

    Does this mean family fun nights will be canceled? Having indoor play spaces in the Seattle winter is invaluable.

  • thatgirlkelly

    Does this mean family fun nights will be canceled? Having indoor play spaces in the Seattle winter is invaluable.

  • StrawGirl

    An important clarification – the TV show is not closing the gym. The City is closing the gym because it can not afford to operate it in 2011. Don’t blame the TV show. The show is a great public interest show for kids that adds a lot of jobs to the Seattle arts community.

  • StrawGirl

    An important clarification – the TV show is not closing the gym. The City is closing the gym because it can not afford to operate it in 2011. Don’t blame the TV show. The show is a great public interest show for kids that adds a lot of jobs to the Seattle arts community.

  • McClure parent

    Don’t forget that McClure Middle School will lose PE and after school programs also. They have no other alternatives. It has been suggested that other community centers can accomodate QA’s loss. I live in Magnolia and I don’t see how we could accomodate any additional winter programs. There is hardly any time or space currently.

  • McClure parent

    Don’t forget that McClure Middle School will lose PE and after school programs also. They have no other alternatives. It has been suggested that other community centers can accomodate QA’s loss. I live in Magnolia and I don’t see how we could accomodate any additional winter programs. There is hardly any time or space currently.

  • Clarification Please

    The QACC has a gym separate from McClure Middle School — correct? Are we talking about the community center gym or the school gym or both? Perhaps the school gym could be available for the basketball leagues. Not sure how any of the other programs can be accommodated at the school however.

  • Clarification Please

    The QACC has a gym separate from McClure Middle School — correct? Are we talking about the community center gym or the school gym or both? Perhaps the school gym could be available for the basketball leagues. Not sure how any of the other programs can be accommodated at the school however.

  • Pat B

    The basketball teams use both gyms during the whole season–some evenings and Saturday I think.

  • Pat B

    The basketball teams use both gyms during the whole season–some evenings and Saturday I think.

  • Clarification Please

    Wow! Thought it was a bad idea to start with now I think it’s a really bad idea. Hopefully if this budget passes Magnolia can help — but I can’t see how as our basketball program seems to take up all of our available gym space. Maybe (hopefully) I am wrong.

  • Clarification Please

    Wow! Thought it was a bad idea to start with now I think it’s a really bad idea. Hopefully if this budget passes Magnolia can help — but I can’t see how as our basketball program seems to take up all of our available gym space. Maybe (hopefully) I am wrong.

  • MsFrench

    The QA Community Center gym is used for more than just basketball. While it does accommodate nearly 30 teams throughout the season, the gym is also used for senior aerobics and other exercise programs, toddler playtime in the mornings, indoor soccer for preschoolers and young children, Friday night family nights, special community events of all kinds, as well as rentals on Sundays to private groups. It’s in use all the time. The McClure gym is also used by both McClure students and spill-over from the community center.

  • MsFrench

    The QA Community Center gym is used for more than just basketball. While it does accommodate nearly 30 teams throughout the season, the gym is also used for senior aerobics and other exercise programs, toddler playtime in the mornings, indoor soccer for preschoolers and young children, Friday night family nights, special community events of all kinds, as well as rentals on Sundays to private groups. It’s in use all the time. The McClure gym is also used by both McClure students and spill-over from the community center.


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