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July 6, 2007

A $5M makeover transforms Wiley Center

Photo by Rick Keating [enlarge]

The grand reopening of the Jim Wiley Community Center at Greenbridge in White Center will be held today at 11 a.m. in the new community gathering space created on the south side of the building at 9800 Eighth Ave. S.W.

U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott and King County Councilmember Dow Constantine are scheduled to attend.

The 22,600-square-foot center got a $5 million makeover that turned it from a gloomy eyesore into a neighborhood showpiece. It houses a gym, computer lab, classrooms, a commercial kitchen, community rooms, social service counseling offices and a career development center.

The Wiley Center is home to the Boys and Girls Clubs of King County Southwest Chapter, Neighborhood House, Highline Community College and the YWCA Career Center.

KPFF Consulting Engineers designed the plaza and building improvements. Tonkin/Hoyne/Lokan Architecture & Urban Planning designed the building and worked with The Berger Partnership to design the plaza. Synergy Construction was the contractor and the King County Housing Authority oversaw construction.

(Editor's note: This story has been changed to correct the name of the housing authority, and to add KPFF Consulting Engineers.)

The center has earned three stars in the Master Builders of King and Snohomish Counties Built Green program for sustainable features that include a cupola to regulate airflow and ventilation; a hydronic heat system; solar panels; and the community plaza. The plaza covers a water quality vault. Stormwater in the vault gets treated before it is discharged into the downstream watercourse.

The center is part of Greenbridge, a mixed-income community due for completion in 2012, that was formerly the Park Lake Homes public housing complex. The goal is to provide a variety of affordable housing choices, parks, trails and retail services to people with very low to moderate incomes.