Public meeting to discuss future of Manitou Community Center

Metro Parks will host the second of two open houses being held to discuss proposed plans to surplus the Manitou Community Center on Weds., Jan. 4 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.. The Open House will take place at the Boys and Girls Club’s Topping Hope Center, 3875 S. 66th St., located adjacent to the new STAR Center construction site.

In 1994 when Tacoma Public Schools constructed a replacement for Manitou Elementary School, the old school building was traded to Metro Parks for use as a community center. The Park District programmed the building, which had last been renovated by the school district in 1967, for about a decade until the aging structure began to present ever increasing operating challenges.  In 2005, Metro Parks discontinued use of the building and relocated programs and classes to South Park Community Center and SOTA — Tacoma Public School’s School Of The Arts. At the same time, staff began working with the community to provide a replacement for the old community center.

In 2005, voters approved a park improvement bond which included funds to construct a new community center in South Tacoma as a replacement for Manitou. The new STAR (South Tacoma Activity & Recreation) Center is now under construction and scheduled to open in spring 2012. To maximize community benefits, the center is located on a shared campus with the Topping Boys & Girls Club and Gray Middle School. Location on the campus enables all three agencies to expand programming opportunities through shared use of space.

In preparation for the opening of the new center, staff developed a proposed plan to surplus the Manitou Center which will be discussed during the Open House. Preliminary conversations with Kids Korner Day Care, the current tenant lease holder for the building, began in March 2010 so they could prepare for the planned sale of the building. The building has been operated by this lease tenant since 2005 when Metro Parks relocated all of its programs.

Citizens who have been unable to attend either of the Open Houses can email questions or comments regarding the proposal to surplus the center to Metro Parks Communications Manager Nancy Johnson at .

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Metro Parks STAR Center takes shape (10/04/11) —