Tacoma's STAR Center marks first anniversary May 18

Metro Parks Tacoma’s South Tacoma Activity and Recreation (STAR) Center will mark its first anniversary on Sat., May 18 with a free community celebration. Since its opening on April 18, 2012, the $16 million, 32,000-square-foot STAR Center has served more than 110,000 program and event participants.

The celebration kicks off with a two-mile outdoor adventure run around the South End Recreation & Adventure (SERA) campus at 9 a.m. on May 18. Race participants will make their way through 10 obstacles and finish off skipping across the finish line. Throughout the day, guests can enjoy classes and demonstrations in healthy cooking, Kendo, hip hop, wheelchair basketball, Zumba, still-life drawing, belly dancing and more. Metro Arts students will entertain with a live theatre performance, and kids and adults can get in on a decoder-ring scavenger hunt all day long.

“We’re excited to celebrate this first year in our new building with the community,” said STAR Center supervisor Dave Griffith. “People have really responded favorably to our programs and events and have put the facility to good use over the past year. We want to take this chance to thank them and to introduce more people to everything STAR Center and SERA Campus have to offer.”

STAR Center was intentionally built close to three existing facilities — the Boys & Girls Club’s Topping Hope Center, Gray Middle School and Metro Parks’ SERA athletic complex. STAR Center programs are designed to take advantage of all four facilities on the 75-acre SERA campus, in addition to the pool at nearby Mt. Tahoma High School. Conversely, STAR Center frequently accommodates the programs of its campus partners.

STAR Center offers many types of activities and services to the community, so different visitors get to know STAR Center in different ways. Some know it as a gym, stocked with state-of-the-art fitness equipment. Others know it as a playground where their kids can enjoy the Urban Adventure covered outdoor course and indoor playground. For many with physical or cognitive disabilities, STAR Center is a place to learn adaptive techniques while socializing with their peers. And for still others, the center is the go-to place for classes in cooking, music, the arts and more.

In May, the center was awarded a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for its use of geo-thermal heating, natural lighting, storm water management and sustainable building materials. By using less energy and water, LEED-certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community. It was also presented with the Washington Parks and Recreation Association’s Spotlight Award, for Best Class 1 Facility at the organization’s annual state conference last month.

More information on STAR Center and the May anniversary celebration may be found at STARCenterTacoma.org or by calling (253) 404-3939.


To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of Tacoma’s STAR Center, click on the following links: