SEPRD Expansion Information
The District is currently looking at exploring expanding our facilities to meet the growing indoor recreation needs of our community. For background information about the Broadway Middle School property, please click here.
Broadway Middle School is a landmark property in our community, and its current sale provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to prioritize recreation for all, accessibility to child care and after-school programming, and an energized sports-tourism economic strategy at the center of our community.
The SEPRD Board of Directors has identified three primary objectives to be accomplished through a purchase of the Broadway School property:
Objective #1: Increase desperately needed child care, preschool, and after-school activities
Clatsop County is considered a “child care desert,” defined as a community with more than three children for every slot available at child care centers or home-based providers licensed by the state. In Seaside parents struggle to find care and experience long waitlists, especially for infants and toddlers. Emergency measures have created expanded slots for families due to COVID-19.
Objective #2: Expand indoor recreation activities for all citizens
The Park & Rec District is committed to expanding access to recreation opportunities beyond aquatics. The plan is to include activities for all ages, and to expand offerings for arts, culture, and wellness activities. Community input outcomes from the 2014 Charettes report (commissioned by SEPRD) clearly indicated more indoor, dry recreation spaces were needed, affirmed by a County Commissioner at the time.
Objective #3: Contribute to local economy through a sports tourism strategy
The Pacific Basketball League not only provides opportunities for our young hoopsters to compete with teams from all over Oregon and Washington, it brings $10.8 million in tourism dollars to our area. The Board believes this model can be replicated to develop a comprehensive sports tourism strategy to bolster our local economy. Alternately, losing the BMS space would result in a loss of existing indoor recreation space, negatively impacting our local economy and reduction of established opportunities for youth recreation.
Community Needs Assessment Survey Results
On November 17, the Sunset Empire Park & Recreation District (SEPRD) released the results of their Community Needs Assessment. The opportunity to provide feedback on these topics was shared with the public through social media, the SEPRD website, an article in the Seaside Signal, meetings with community organizations, and through a partnership with the city of Seaside for distribution in water bills.
“We estimate over 3,000 community members received our invitation for feedback, and 359 provided feedback, 89% of whom were district residents. This 10% response rate is on par with national response rates,” said Melissa Ousley, Manager of Marketing and Special Events. “The majority of respondents were in support of our expanding services to meet community needs.”
Interested in providing additional feedback? Want to stay in the loop? Here’s how:
Attend a public meeting of the Board of Directors. Board Meetings are on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 5:15pm at the Bob Chisholm Community Center (1225 Avenue A, Seaside, OR 97138). Check out the calendar, agenda, and past meeting minutes here: https://www.sunsetempire.com/board
F.A.Q. Regarding the BMS Opportunity:
Why buy the Broadway Middle School building?
The District is without adequate space for fitness programs and youth programs. One of the greatest needs in our community right now is childcare and preschool space, and we are already renting space at BMS to meet this need. In addition, having access to high quality fitness programs and facilities improves the quality of life for a community. To fully serve our community, it is imperative that we expand recreation activities for all patrons. In acquiring BMS, there is also an opportunity to contribute to our local economy through sports tourism. If we are able to purchase the building and renovate, our programs would generate significantly more revenue than our current facilities offer, allowing us to expand fitness areas, increase enrollment in our youth programs, and have access to two gymnasiums, meeting recreation needs of our community.
What are the benefits of purchasing BMS?
There are a number of benefits to purchasing this building: The cost is substantially less than new construction; 93% less than the project SEPRD proposed in 2018. This would allow SEPRD to stop renting space for many current programs, saving $7,980 and generating $9,600 annually in revenue. Cost savings through partnerships. Keep public property and facilities in the public trust. Create vital community space for sport practices, tournaments, meetings, special events, and more. Provide indoor recreation space for basketball, pickle ball, volleyball, indoor soccer, fitness classes. Maintain our ability to host the Seaside Farmers Market at its current and successful location.
How will you pay for the building?
The District currently has $234,000 in the building additions fund. This amount would be enough to carry the loan for two full years, without any further investment from the operating budget or any revenue. SEPRD has access, through our association with Special Districts Association of Oregon, to funding with low interest rates and a manageable repayment schedule. In other words, we do not need a bond to purchase the building or manage it at this time. In time, the District will develop a master plan for the full usage of the property. This could include developing partners to utilize some of the other spaces, identify a fundraising strategy to improve the building or leave the building as is and utilize it the best way possible.
What about environmental or structural concerns present in the building?
If the District were to acquire the property, it would only be after successful completion of a lengthy due diligence process to assess the current state of the building. It should be noted that while there may be some environmental related concerns in the building, due to its age, those concerns have been mitigated for decades by the School District and SEPRD will continue to mitigate through appropriate measures. Clearly the building sits in the tsunami inundation zone and that is one of the primary incentives that the School District is vacating. However, many public facilities are in that zone and the majority of Seaside residents live in that area as well.