PenMet moves ahead with Rosedale Hall renovation, feasibility studies

Posted on September 7th, 2022 By:

PenMet Parks hired firms to design the Rosedale Hall renovation and conduct feasibility studies regarding aquatic and senior centers during a meeting Tuesday.

PenMet commissioners authorized Executive Director Ally Bujacich to hire Boe Architects for the Rosedale Hall project. The park district deemed the Tacoma company the best qualified from among six applicants.

front of Rosedale Hall

Boe Architects will design the renovation of Rosedale Hall at a cost of $171,000.

Rosedale Hall was built in 1925 and sits on .44 acres across 86th Avenue from Lay Inlet. PenMet rents out the 2,236-square-foot facility for events of up to 60 people. It includes a kitchen, stage, two restrooms, two tennis courts, a basketball court, and tables and chairs.

Pierce County assessed the building this year at $77,300. Most of the parcel’s $319,900 value is in the land.

The project will update old systems and address other deferred maintenance. It will improve ADA access, improve functionality, replace finishes and perform limited site improvements. The agreement requires maintenance of the use and character of the space.

Back of Rosedale Hall

Rosedale Hall is rented for events and classes. It features a kitchen, stage, tables, chairs, tennis courts and basketball court.

The scope of Boe Architects’ work will include predesign, design, bidding, construction administration and project close-out. The cost is not to exceed $171,000.

The renovation, at a total cost of $1.52 million, is the second-largest item on PenMet’s $31.6 million 2022 capital budget. The community recreation center at the former Performance Golf Center site accounts for $23.7 million of the capital budget.

Rosedale Hall will remain open during the design phase, but be closed during construction, which is estimated to be completed by July 2023, Bujacich said.

PenMet is nearing completion on another community hall renovation at the Arletta Schoolhouse.

Swim Safe group pushed for aquatics center

The capital budget also includes $105,000 for separate feasibility studies for a community aquatics center and a dedicated space for seniors. The board on Tuesday approved a deal with ARC Architects of Seattle to perform the analysis.

The push for an aquatics center began in June 2021 when two local mothers, Sarah Stancikas and Heather Maher, became frustrated by a scarcity of swimming lessons in Gig Harbor. They launched a grassroots Swim Safe Gig Harbor campaign that has collected more than 1,100 petition signatures. The group’s Facebook page has 1,000 members.

They appeared often before the PenMet board during meetings. PenMet promised to fund a feasibility study in 2022.

Heather Mayer, left, and Sarah Stancikas update the PenMet Parks board on their groundwork for a new community aquatics center.

Heather Maher, left, and Sarah Stancikas updated the PenMet Parks board on their groundwork for a new community aquatics center last fall. Ed Friedrich / Gig Harbor Now

The group envisions a multi-purpose facility with activities for all ages, including swim lessons, sports, fitness and aquatic therapy. It sees PenMet’s unused Peninsula Gardens property as a potential location, though the study will also examine other park district sites.

As aquatic centers are expensive to build and maintain, Swim Safe foresees a combination of funding from private donors, grants, bonds and community partnerships.

“We are incredibly excited that PenMet Parks has officially hired a firm to conduct the feasibility study,” Stancikas said Wednesday. “This is a huge step forward to continue to prioritize water safety and recreation in our town. Cheers to the Gig Harbor community for rallying their support around this effort. While this is just the beginning, we know that great things can be and will be accomplished.”

Seniors looking for their own space

The Gig Harbor Senior Center was housed with the Boys & Girls Club from 2009 to 2019. In June 2019, Peninsula School District bought that building and it became Pioneer Elementary School. The senior center reopened in summer 2021, after a 15-month, Covid-induced shutdown, in a temporary home at Peninsula Lutheran Church.

Photo of the front of the old Peninsula Gardens nursery building.

SwimSafe and a group of seniors is proposing that PenMet’s Peninsula Gardens property would be a good site for swimming and seniors facilities. Ed Friedrich / Gig Harbor Now

Since November, Betty Lilienthal, Hugh McMillan and a small band of supporters have attended PenMet meetings and pushed for their own space.

“We are most grateful,” Lilienthal said of the feasibility study. “I am elated. I feel like PenMet Parks has been listening and they hear what we have to say. They understand that Gig Harbor needs this.”

PenMet picked ARC Architects as the most qualified of two applicants. ARC will conduct a feasibility study for a community aquatics center and a feasibility study for a senior space. The district will use the studies to determine whether one or both are feasible as a supplement to current offerings.

Consultants conducting two separate studies

The consultant’s responsibilities include:

  • Developing aquatics and senior programs based on community and steering committee input, a market analysis and comparable projects.
  • Developing conceptual design options for facilities at up to three sites to support the programming.
  • Providing a construction cost estimate and an operational cost analysis.
  • Issuing a final report stating the process, findings and recommendations.

The work cannot exceed $84,600. It is expected to be completed in spring 2023.

Board members thanked Stancikas and Maher, who weren’t in attendance, and the seniors “for coming to our meetings and taking action on important needs in our community,” said Commissioner Amanda Babich.