After a year of being under construction, the Sunnyside Community Center at South Hill Park still isn't ready for use. But it won't be long, claim project contractors. In the meantime, center use and rental agreements are being formulated, said the facility's future management team.
Still on the project completion check list are such things as the installation of hardwood floors in the gym, a project which was only recently let out for bids. Also left to be completed are such things as the installation of the bleachers and scoreboard in the gym, appliances in the center's spacious kitchen, as well as carpeting and other floor coverings throughout the building.
The city expects to open bids for the gym floor Jan. 8, but how soon the floor will be completed is still up in the air, as is the date for the center's eventual grand opening.
However, plans are now being made for the $1.1 million center's gala opening, said a spokesman for the center's management team.
"We just don't have a date yet," said Cristina Klatovsky of the Washington State Migrant Council. The Migrant Council was awarded the operations contract to oversee the management of the 9,700 square foot facility early last year by the Sunnyside City Council.
"We're anxious to get started holding programs and to start letting the public use this beautiful facility," Klatovsky said. She said even though the center isn't ready for use, people have already been calling, requesting permission to use portions of the center's public use rooms.
In addition to the kitchen and the multipurpose gym, several rooms have been set aside for small group meetings.
While waiting to see the final light bulb screwed in and the last of the carpet installed at the center, Klatovsky anxiously wonders when amenities like office furniture, dishes and window coverings can be delivered.
"We had hoped to be in the building by December," she said. As the construction deadline was pushed into the future, her office wondered if the building would be ready in January. But it won't be. There is a myriad of details yet to be finished, she said.
"The opening could be delayed until mid-February or March," she predicted.
In the meantime, Klatovsky, along with the center's advisory board, are finalizing such things as the rental fees.
"We are still trying to determine a reasonable, but competitive fee," Klatovsky said.
She said the number being used as a possible rental fee of the gym and kitchen is $1,000, a price she said is in line with hall rentals in Yakima and the Tri-Cities. She said the advisory board's fee schedule recommendations will have to be approved by the City Council.
"In our agreement with the city, we are committed to having the center open to serve the public at least four (4) hours day, six (6) days per calendar week," Klatovsky said.
She said the center might be closed on legal holidays.
"We also have the option of keeping it open during evening hours and weekends, which we will do based on demand and interest," she said.
The center will be open Sunday through Thursday until 10 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, no event shall occur or continue past 12 p.m. (midnight), she explained.
In addition, the center will be an alcohol-free facility and issues like security for special events like wedding receptions or dances, will be addressed via city ordinances, Klatovsky said.
"We're very excited about getting programs up and running," she added.
"We know we won't be able to provide services for everyone, but we are going to be trying to meet as many needs in the community as possible," she added.
Klatovsky said the Migrant Council will be hiring a center manager to coordinate activities and handle rentals at the center.
"We plan to have someone on site at all times," she said.
. Julia Hart can be contacted at
(509) 837-4500, or you can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org