In April there were 31 conversations in the Eastside of Tacoma, with 342 participants, touching on the critical needs for programs to serve the community. Called Community Cafés, they were self-organized conversations answering five questions, with groups ranging in size from 5 to 32. These conversations are essential to hearing the collective voice of the Eastside and will be used to refine the program elements and design of the Eastside community center and pool.
Metro Parks Tacoma has received letters of commitment toward construction of a new Eastside community center and pool from the City of Tacoma, Tacoma Public Schools, and Tacoma Housing Authority. The Boys and Girls Club and YMCA have submitted letters of intent to provide programming. Accordingly, the Metro Parks Board of Commissioners approved a contract with an architectural firm to begin program and building design for the center.
Using feedback from the Cafés and previous outreach efforts, Metro Parks and its partners will finalize the program priorities and community partnerships in the next few months. From there, design work will begin towards the goal of opening the center in 2017.