The Need for Community Space in Redmond

History of community space in Redmond

From 2000 through 2017, the City of Redmond operated 72,300 square feet of community center space through the Old Redmond Schoolhouse, Old Firehouse Teen Center, and Redmond Senior Center. The Old Redmond Schoolhouse was the City's main community center through an inter-local agreement with Lake Washington School District. Annual usage of this 40,000 square foot space included 170,000 annual visitors, 125 large-scale rentals for cultural celebrations, dances and milestone moments, 35 ongoing community rentals, and a variety of recreation services.

In December 2017, the City relocated from the Old Redmond Schoolhouse to the Redmond Community Center at Marymoor Village (leased from the Lake Washington Institute of Technology), decreasing available space to 50,600 square feet. While many services, rentals and activities were relocated to the new community center, some ongoing community rentals, sports programs, and partnerships were canceled due to space limitations.

The Future of Redmond's Community Centers Report, adopted in 2017, identified a need for additional community space in Redmond. Since 2017, this need has greatly increased as Redmond’s population has surged and recreation space has declined. The Redmond Community Center at Marymoor Village has significantly reduced capacity and amenities through:

  • 20,000 less square feet of space than the former community center (Old Redmond Schoolhouse)
  • 50% less programming space
  • Does not include a gymnasium, large auditorium, or flexible activity or program areas
The main entrance of the old Redmond Senior Center is shown during the daytime from the outside. There is landscaping in the form of bushes and trees, as well as a bench and pole with a light on top.
Redmond Senior Center, closed in 2019

The closure of the Redmond Senior Center in September 2019 additionally creates urgency not only in the need for dedicated senior space, but also for gathering space and adequate program space for all ages. No City facility provides a commercial kitchen, large enough space for events, performances, cultural gatherings, or adequate program space to meet the growing needs of the community. Following this closure, the City operates 28,600 square feet of community space between the Redmond Community Center and Old Firehouse Teen Center.

Through a new lease agreement with Lake Washington School District for the Old Redmond Schoolhouse, the City will have access to 9,785 square feet, which includes the gymnasium, clay studio, and two classrooms starting in spring 2021. The auditorium and commercial kitchen for public use are not included in the lease agreement, and the City is still short on flexible classroom/program space.

As the existing community centers don’t serve the current needs and growth of the community, there is an urgent need for more dedicated senior and community center space in Redmond. In the current 2020 census, Redmond’s residential population is expected to be 69,900, an increase from 54,154 in 2010.

See the table below for a comparison of Redmond’s previous and existing community centers. Spaces highlighted in orange note that the community centers significantly lack that amenity.

Redmond’s Community Centers2000-20172018-201920202021
Old Redmond School
house, Redmond Senior Center, and Old Fire House (OFH) Teen Center
*The Old Redmond School
house closed in December 2017
Old Redmond School
house, Redmond Senior Center, and OFH Teen Center
*The Senior Center closed in September 2019
Redmond Community Center and OFH Teen Center
*The Old Redmond School
house reopens in a limited capacity in December 2000
Redmond Community Center, OFH Teen Center and Old Redmond School
house
Total Square Feet 72,300 sq. ft. 50,600 sq. ft. 28,600 sq. ft. 38,300 sq. ft.
Small Meeting / Program Space (1-15 people) 9 5 1 1
Medium Meeting / Program Space (15-34 people) 9 8 4 4
Large Meeting / Program Space (35-70 people) 6 4 2 2
Event Space Old Redmond Schoolhouse (ORSH) Auditorium (250 people)
Redmond Senior Center (RSC) Social Hall (200 people)
OFH Showroom (100 people)
RSC Social Hall (200 people)
OFH Showroom (100 people)
OFH Showroom (100 people)
No performance stage
OFH Showroom (100 people)
No performance stage
Commercial Kitchen 2 2 0 0
Specialty Spaces Clay Studio with kiln
Recording Studio
Library
Lecture Hall
Drop-in Fitness Studio
Recording Studio
Library
Lecture Hall
Drop-in Fitness Studio
Recording Studio
Lecture Hall
Drop-in Fitness Studio
Recording Studio
Clay Studio with kiln
Dance Studio 1 0 0 1
Gymnasium 1 0 0 1