Seattle, WA., Nov. 21, 2007 — Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center celebrates the completion of the major phase of its facility expansion at a Grand Opening on Sunday, December 2, from 4 – 7 p.m. The community is invited to participate in the festivities, which include a visit from the Christmas Ship, tours of the facility, a silent auction, children’s activities, and free refreshments.
King County Executive Ron Sims, Seattle City Council Member Sally Clark, members of the Seattle Board of Park Commissioners, and Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Interim Superintendent will be on hand to help dedicate this new community space.
“This project represents the first time an advisory council has taken on such a major capital project at a Seattle Parks facility,” says Anna Martin, Boating Advisory Council President. “Seattle Parks could not provide funding directly from their capital budget, but they were able to fold in planned maintenance work such as painting, a new roof, and parking lot renovation. This was a significant help.”
Mount Baker Boating Advisory Council, in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation, initiated the $2.2 million expansion. The Advisory Council is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that sponsors public rowing, sailing, and other small craft recreation at this Center. They are licensed in the State of Washington and are a member of the Associated Recreation Council (ARC).
The Boating Advisory Council raised the rest of the needed funding for this project from a variety of public and private sources that included $650,000 in State, County, and City grants; $550,000 special allocations from King County and the Seattle City Council; and more than a million dollars in donations from individuals and private foundations.
Construction of the Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center was originally funded by the Forward Thrust Bond Issue of 1968. This was one of the last Forward Thrust projects to be completed. The Center opened its doors for public programs in 1985.
“We realized some years ago that we needed more space,” Martin said. “We were constantly juggling equipment to make room for class activities. After looking at the long-term program needs, we were convinced that our facility needed major work, with more storage and room to grow our programs.
“Nothing like this could have happened without the enormous support from a lot of people who are passionate about this facility and its contribution to the well-being of the communities in Southeast Seattle. The Council is hugely grateful for everyone’s help. It’s a gift to the City of Seattle from all of us who had a hand in this project.”
Martin encourages everyone to continue their support of the Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center by attending the silent auction, which opens at 5 p.m. following the ribbon cutting. Open to all with no entrance fee, the auction is one of the Advisory Council’s major annual fundraising projects.
“The equipment we need here, the rowing shells and sailboats and so on, are quite expensive,” says Martin. “The City maintains our facility and pays for Parks staff, but doesn’t have the budget for equipment. So please come to the auction and have fun for a good cause.”
For more information, please contact Karen O’Connor at 206-233-7929 or karen.o’connor (at) seattle (dot) gov.