The Schoolhouse District, also known as the Civic Campus Project and the largest public/private investment in the city’s history, is currently progressing on schedule and will continue through summer 2021.
This project features a variety of retail opportunities in the restored schoolhouse building, additional childcare space for the YMCA, tons of room for retail and public use, and over 260 multi-family residential units with instant access to shops.
“We have another project to redo the NE 175th Street set to take place in the next few years,” Assistant to the City Manager Kevin O’Neill said. “Once that is complete, in addition to the new sports fields, the place will finally start to come together.”
Schoolhouse No. 23 has stood empty for more than a decade, according to the city. Parts of it haven't been touched in more than half a century.
“When we first went into the boiler room of the old school, there was a nuclear fallout shelter down there,” said Matt Guilanians, owner’s representative for the city of Woodinville. “And we found big military boxes of crackers and water from the 1960s.”
Guilanians said an elevator to the new underground parking garage was installed alongside the renovated schoolhouse in order to achieve ADA accessibility and compliance. A set of stairs also goes down to the garage, he added. With more than 400 stalls, the garage provides all residents with a space for parking, as well as a separate area for YMCA members.
Wine Walk Row will offer 11 custom-designed tasting rooms, but specific occupants have not yet been chosen, according to City Manager Brandon Buchanan. He said each tasting space will include a roll-up garage door, outdoor seating and landscaping that leads to the plaza and more dining options.
Overall, the city anticipates 20,000 square feet of proposed retail, restaurant and commercial space, in addition to 30,000 square feet of public open space. The project includes 8,000 square feet of renovations to the existing YMCA and 8,500 square feet of new childcare space.
Guilanians said the new YMCA childcare center will accommodate about 120 kids from infants to 5 years old. The space is designed with two infant rooms, two toddler rooms, one room for preschool and another for pre-K, as well as staff offices and a kitchen area. The building will also be outfitted with security monitors and precautions for staff, he added.
This licensed childcare facility will be available for families that register, with financial assistance available as well. Senior Marketing Director Amber Martin said YMCA will begin sharing more information to the public and list gathering in early 2021, with intentions to open in fall of next year.
Guilanians said the Kid Zone is not a licensed childcare center, so parents need to stay on the premises in order to utilize the facility.
A few steps away, the renovated YMCA will serve as a community hub for activities, sports, community classes, birthday parties, children’s programs and more. The multi-purpose area can be reassembled with tables and chairs for events and large meetings or cleared for games and fitness classes.
“It’s a really economical way to retain an adaptive space that the Y needs, and work within the broader development,” Guilanians said.
In a corner facing the sports fields, a playground will be assembled for children to entertain themselves while the parents hangout at a nearby tasting room. Security surveillance will also surround the playground for safety purposes, Guilanians said.
“The playground is designed to be used by the licensed childcare during the day, but also available for the community in the evening,” he said. “It’s really a multi-use play area.”
Guilanians said construction workers have been very careful when working around the mural overlooking the new Festival Street promenade, which will be used for city events and public use. The mural on the existing YMCA building features a giant air balloon and fields of crops, reminiscent of the Sammamish Valley.
“People love that mural facing the sports fields, and we have been very careful not to scratch it up,” Guilanians said. “Randomly, as we were doing construction, the man who painted the mural came into City Hall to check in on the painting. So, we got his information and plan to have him touch it up after we’re all done.”