Update: On 9/4/2014 State Parks posted the Saint Edward Seminary Agenda Item on their website. Citizens for Saint Edward State Park has three initial areas of concern:
- The public should have more time to read and respond to the lengthy 25 page Agenda Item before the Commission makes their decision. You can download this large file by choosing the “Item E-2 Saint Edward Seminary Management Options – RA” link found here.
- On August 28, 2014, a group from the community met with State Parks Planners and advocated that a hybrid option called “Partially Vacate/Partially Rehabilitate” (see #6 below) be added to the agenda. This option and all others should receive equal and full consideration for discussion at the public meeting.
- In fact, even though these options won’t be presented to the community until the Public Meeting on September 10th, State Parks Staff has already narrowed their recommendations to only two options: either adaptive reuse/lease or vacate. Parks Staff is asking the Parks and Recreation Commission to authorize the Director to rule out three other options: mothball, no action, and partial removal or full removal. Staff is also requesting the Commission direct them to explore rehabilitation proposals to ensure they have enough merit to pursue further and authorize staff to work with interested parties to develop lease and alternative governance options. If a rehabilitation proposal does not yield results within twelve months, they ask that staff be directed to investigate vacation of the building. (Note that with the two options of adaptive reuse/lease or vacate, ranger housing at the park has a great possibility of disappearing.)
Citizens for Saint Edward State Park strongly encourages you to attend the Public Meeting September 10, 2014 (more information below). Every public comment, whether at the public meeting or in writing to the Commission, is very important. If you can not attend, please submit your comments to the Commission at Commission@parks.wa.gov before September 12, 2014
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is having a public meeting on September 10, 2014 regarding management options for the Saint Edward State Park Seminary building. The purpose of the meeting is to present the alternatives, explain the pros and cons, and staff recommendations.
Public Meeting September 10, 2014
6:30pm to 8:30 pm at Northshore Utility District
6830 NE 185th Street, Kenmore, WA 98028-2684
Washington State Parks is once again considering development of the Seminary Building. Daniels Real Estate is working with Bastyr University on a lease proposal being fronted by the City of Kenmore.
At the upcoming State Parks meeting members of the public will be shown and asked to rank disposition options for the seminary building. One option will be “Adaptive reuse/lease.” Should the public express preference for this option, the Kenmore/Daniels proposal will likely be green-lighted and all other options removed from consideration for up to twelve months & likely permanently. Your input is crucial.
Among the options expected to be presented on September 10 are:
- Adaptive reuse/lease – this would be for the building to either become dormitories, classrooms and/or offices for Bastyr University or for other as yet unknown “end-users”;
- Status quo – limit use of the building and continue to invest an average of $100K annually to maintain it without a plan for the future;
- Mothball – take the building out of use entirely but protect it from water intrusion;
- Vacate – protect the building from vandalism, allow it to slowly deteriorate and become iconic ruins;
- Fully raze – remove the entire building and restore the land ;
- Partially vacate/partially rehabilitate – retain and rehabilitate north areas such as the Grand Dining Hall for increased public use and allow the dormitory wing to slowly decline; and
- Partially raze – retain and improve the north section for public use and remove the dormitory wing entirely.
The park was acquired through the National Park Service Land and Water Conservation Fund to be held in perpetuity for passive outdoor recreation. The land is unique and valued for the natural environment. The building although lovely to look at does not need to be retained for the public to have full enjoyment of the park. The National Historic Register listing is honorific and does not require that the building be preserved.
The Parks Commission is very aware of the high level of public interest in the outcome at Saint Edward. Again, every public comment whether at the public meeting or in writing to the Commission is very important.
Written comments should go to the Commission by Sept. 12 to be considered in time for a decision on September 18. Please send your comments and your preferred option in a short note to “Parks Commissioners” at Commission@parks.wa.gov.
The Agenda Item and supporting documents have been posted on the State Parks website. See links towards the bottom of the Washington State Parks Saint Edward Planning – Seminary page.