Northwest NEWS

April 29, 2002

Local News

Woodinville Parks and Rec, Chamber of Commerce to relocate

by Jeanette Knutson
   Staff Writer
   Rooms are being readied in the former C.O. Sorenson School for the city's Parks and Recreation Department and the Woodinville Chamber of Commerce.
   Interior walls are being constructed in order to create office space. Phone lines are being installed and tested. Movers have been hired and a moving day has been selected. It's May 3.
   On that Friday, Parks and Rec and the Chamber will close offices and shuffle over to Sorenson.
   The Northshore Seniors, who also have a desk in the old school building, will make the move as well. All offices will reopen to the public on Monday, May 6.
   The relocation is necessary because it was determined the Old Woodinville School did not meet safety standards.
   Last year's Nisqually earthquake caused minor cracking to the Old Woodinville School, located on Northeast 175th Street.
   So the city commissioned a routine structural analysis to determine the extent of the repairs to the masonry veneer walls. But in addition to the apparent exterior damage, consulting engineers discovered structural construction design defects as well. Two independent structural evaluations concluded that the building does not meet minimum Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) standards for seismic event survivability.
   And something has to be done about it. So Woodinville Building Official Dean McKee made the call, the official determination to vacate the building. The City Council acted on it, approving the relocation of the city's Recreation and Chamber of Commerce offices to allow for further study regarding future retrofitting and repair of the Old Woodinville School.
   The city intends, according to City Manager Pete Rose, to have a thoughtful dialog with the community about the level of seismic retrofit warranted, whether to do a minimum retrofit or more extensive upgrades.
   Of course, the degree of upgrade will dictate how the Old Woodinville School is used in the future, whether the building will be used for office space and storage, perhaps a museum; or whether the building will be used in an assembly capacity (over 50 persons in a room).
   In the meantime, as of Monday, May 6, the city's Parks and Recreation Department, the Woodinville Chamber of Commerce, and the Northshore Seniors information desk can be found in the former C.O. Sorenson School building.
   The new address for the Woodinville Community Center is 17401-133rd Ave. NE. The Chamber of Commerce address is 17401-133rd Ave. NE, Suite A02. Phone numbers remain the same at (425) 398-9327 and (425) 481-8300, respectively.
   Parks and Recreation registration and reservations will be available on May 3 at City Hall, 17301-133rd Ave. NE, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by calling (425) 489-2700.
   New offices will reopen to the public on Monday, May 6.