Community Centers Get Realigned, Have New Hours

Seattle Parks and Recreation has announced new Community Center and teen programming hours for 2012 and, following significant discussion throughout the last year, also announced that a tiered system will replace the traditional Community Center model.

In response to challenging budgets and a directive from City Council, Seattle Parks and Recreation spent 2011 meeting with community stakeholders and staff to develop a new plan for operating community centers in 2012. That work has resulted in a new tiered system for operating community centers that reduces operating costs, while maintaining essential services.

In the new system, community centers are grouped into five geographic areas of five centers each. They are managed and programmed in a coordinated fashion. The new system partially or fully restores the current limited use sites. Five limited use sites were established in 2011, which involved a significant drop in public operating hours. The new tiered system for 2012 saves approximately $1.23 million in the 2012 budget.

The tiered system is as follows. Click here for the new hours.

Southeast Tier Community Centers

  • Jefferson
  • Rainier
  • International District/Chinatown
  • Van Asselt
  • Rainier Beach (closed for renovation in 2012)

Southwest Tier Community Centers

  • High Point
  • Delridge
  • Hiawatha
  • South Park
  • Alki
  • Southwest is now a Teen Life Center only; the Southwest Department of Neighborhoods Service Center will be relocated to this center

Central Tier Community Centers

  • Garfield
  • Montlake
  • Queen Anne
  • Yesler
  • Miller

Northeast Tier Community Centers

  • Meadowbrook
  • Northgate
  • Ravenna-Eckstein
  • Laurelhurst
  • Magnuson

Northwest Tier Community Centers

  • Bitter Lake
  • Loyal Heights
  • Green Lake
  • Ballard
  • Magnolia

Hours for Teen Life Centers and Late Night Programs have also changed to address 2012 program funding, ensure programs are held when teens are out of school, add Saturday hours and sustain a 46% increase in Teen Life Center participation.

New hours can be found online at


In January 2011, Seattle Parks and Recreation convened a Community Center Advisory Team, consisting of community members, representatives from the Board of Park Commissioners, representatives of employee unions, employees, the Associated Recreation Council, and City Council and City Budget Office staff. The team met throughout the spring to discuss options for moving forward.

They recommended nine possible options. After taking the nine options to the public via community meetings and an online survey, the tiered geographic recommendation floated to the top.

Then, Parks staff held 27 public meetings to hear from communities about what activities and hours they would like to see at their nearest community center. The results of those meetings helped inform the new operating hours.

City Council approved the new tiered operating model in its 2012 budget.