Bellevue, Boys and Girls Clubs partner on Hidden Valley Park project

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue (BGCB) and the City of Bellevue will partner on the construction of new facilities planned for Hidden Valley Park.

The project includes a 24,655 square foot community center, with three basketball courts, office space and room enough for sports like pickle ball, volleyball, badminton, even batting cages. Thirty-seven parking spaces will be added and outdoor ballfields will be converted to synthetic turf.

To make room for the construction, three buildings will need to be demolished.

If approved, the city would lease land for the gym at a rate of $1 per year, and in exchange would be able to use the facilities when not in use by the BGCB. Early estimates projected a total cost of $9.6 million, $6.8 million of which would be funded by the BGCB for the construction of the new gymnasium, fields and other site projects. The remaining $2.8 million would be funded by the city. The city will continue to own and operate Hidden Valley Park.

The BGCB had earlier investigated using Surrey Downs Park for the new gymnasium, but with Rapid Transit planned for the neighborhood, construction did not seem feasible. Another location at Bellevue Way and Northeast 20th Street, was also vetoed because the space was found to be too small.

"This park needs improvements, and by partnering with the city [on something] the city couldn't do alone…It's an exciting venture," said Kathy Haggart, President and CEO of the BGCB.

If the project proceeds as planned, Haggart expects construction to be complete by the end of 2014.

"There is a shortage of gyms and fields [in Bellevue]," she added. "This will allow us to serve that many more kids. We're always competing for fields and gyms, and this will be a huge impact on what we can provide."

Three outreach meetings have already been conducted, but the public will have yet another opportunity to voice their opinion at a hearing scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 9 at Bellevue City Hall, 450 110th Ave. NE.


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