Northwest NEWS

August 2, 1999

Valley Special

VRA commissions 'needs assessment'

   The Valley Recreation Association took what Board President Jeff Spencer called "an important first step toward building a swimming pool and recreation center in the Lower Snoqualmie Valley" when they commissioned a "needs assessment" in early July.

   Hebert Research of Bellevue will do the research for the VRA. "They have a history of providing scientific market research for recreation organizations and government agencies," Spencer said.

   Spencer says that the needs assessment will be conducted in two stages. First, a small group of randomly selected people in the Valley will be interviewed and encouraged to brainstorm ideas and share visions. Then Hebert Research staff members will interview 20 community leaders for their input.

   "I expect the research should be done and a report written by the end of September," he said. According to Spencer, the next step will be a marketing study.

   "The needs assessment will show us what people hope the facility will include based on the needs of the community," Spencer said. "Then we need to find out if enough people will pay enough money to run such a facility. Only then will we know if it is worth raising the money to build it."

   Spencer said he hopes that the marketing study will be completed by the end of the winter. He says the two studies will cost about $9,000.

   People interested in joining the VRA's efforts to build a swimming pool and recreation center in the Lower Valley can contact them by e-mail at SnoVRA@aol.com, or by regular mail at P.O. Box 522, Carnation, WA 98014.