Boys and Girls Club of Bellevue withdraws recreation facility proposal

The proposal for an indoor recreation center has been withdrawn after communtiy opposition.

After proposing the development of a fieldhouse at Wilburton Park, the Boys and Girls Club of Bellevue informed the city they would be withdrawing the proposal to explore alternate ways to provide indoor recreations space.

In 2018, the city and the Boys and Girls Club of Bellevue were in talks to locate a field house for indoor recreation use at a park in Bellevue. After several parks were considered, Wilburton Hill Park was identified as a location to be further studied.

After multiple public meetings, the club decided to withdraw the proposal in a letter to the city. President and CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Bellevue Kathy Haggart wrote that they believe there is still a need for more indoor recreation space on the eastside of Bellevue, but they were not sure it was the right time for the project.

“The process that must occur to validate this need and the location will likely take several years with an uncertain conclusion,” Haggart wrote. “These are factors we must consider as the funding for the project would be in private donations.”

At the Jan. 28 city council extended study session, Councilmember and parks board liaison Jennifer Robertson gave the council an update on the withdrawal. Through public comment at the heavily attended parks board meetings on the subject, the community was vocal in opposition to locating the facility in Wilburton Hill Park, Robertson said.

“With their current executive director stepping down to retire and bringing a new one on, they felt this was no longer the time to push through the study of the partnership,” she said.