The Sunset Recreation Center (formerly known as the 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 the recently completed property purchase:
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.