Deputy Mayor Elaine Cook began the City Council Regular Meeting on Tuesday, May 15 by stating, “I’d like to take a moment to thank all of you for coming to our meeting tonight. I see it as an opportunity for you to hear firsthand that we most certainly are planning to save the old schoolhouse. I hope that you leave here with a better understanding of our plans to preserve the historic school and our civic campus.
We mean to put an end to the years of neglect of the property. We take an enormous amount of pride in the civic community. It’s time to get excited.”
City Council then welcomed Public Comment which hosted several community leaders, residents, and interested parties all stressing their own thoughts regarding the Old Woodinville Schoolhouse among other timely topics. Deputy Mayor Cook and council did their utmost to honor and thank every person whom commented even if some of the comments were in stark disagreement and contrast to the recent developments of the Civic Campus project.
The Woodinville Civic Campus Partnership (WCCP) continued to share their developments concerning the plans with the Civic Campus and Old Woodinville Schoolhouse project. It was clear that since the last presentation in April, the partnership had taken note of the Council Member’s and community’s thoughts and notes.
Landscape Architect Brian Bishop stressed, “Movement through the public space is really critical.” He went on to describe WCCP’s vision of a “Woodinville Walk” now updated with utilizing concepts of unique rooms, or areas, that all have their individual styles and feel but mesh well with the thematic elements of the continued movement throughout the Civic Campus. The project itself is going to have just under 30,000 square feet of public space.
The WCCP stated that there was much consideration given to a market or festival atmosphere allowing for spaces down on the festival street and up on the green. This amount of space could cater to 55 10x10 tents that could be set up for a farmers’ market or similar large-scale public event and gathering.
Next, the WCCP discussed their hypothetical Garden Walk and the importance of what they call “Stoop Culture.” “This is one of my favorite spots in the plan because it’s tricky. It’s tricky because it has public and private at the same time… what the stoops do is that you raise them up 42 inches and now you have interaction with the public while staying private,” said President of Mainstreet Property Group Kelly Price. He continued, “Connectivity is huge.”
Carrying over from their last presentation, WCCP detailed their new plans for loading, drop-offs, and stopped traffic. They cited the loading and unloading needs of other successful festival or farmers’ market streets and the heightened frequency that community members are utilizing ride-shares: Lyft, Uber, or carpools, rather than driving. The latter are particularly important when concerning the potential of restaurant or bar spaces that may cater to evening patrons.