Cascade/Benson Hill area community center gets $1.5M donation from state

Family First Community Center was dreamed up by Seahawk Doug Baldwin and the city.

With one final donation from the state, the city of Renton has now ready to build the proposed Cascade/Benson Hill area community center.

The state of Washington allocated $1.5 million from the 2018 supplemental capital budget for the Family First Community Center, which was dreamed up by Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin and the city.

“This has been a vision that Doug Baldwin and I have been working on for over two years,” said Renton Mayor Denis Law in a press release. “Thanks to the tremendous support of our legislators and a phenomenal public-private partnership, we have raised the necessary capital funds to get started.”

The city is looking to build an approximate 25,000-square-foot center right next to Cascade Elementary School, in the heart of the Benson community. The estimated cost to the center is $15 million.

The Benson area was chosen for this project largely due to the lack of investment in the area since the annexation of Benson Hill in 2008.

The Renton City Council helped launch the project by authorizing $4 million last year. Other businesses have also donated money to the community center, including First Financial Northwest Foundation, Starbucks, Car Pros and ATS Automation.

According to the press release, ATS Automation pledged to match each dollar donated by their employees. Tom and Karen Easton, owners of ATS Automation, donated $75,000. Members of Renton Rotary raised $90,000 for the center.

In 2016, the population in the area was 23,769, which is about quarter of the city. According to the 2015 demographics, 12.8 percent of the population within the half mile radius of Cascade Elementary School was below the poverty line and earned less than $24,000 per household. Nearly 19 percent of the population is 14 years or younger and 65.5 percent of students from that area are eligible for free or reduced-priced lunches.

The community center aims to provide free educational and recreational opportunities, offer health and fitness programs, as well as have on-site health and wellness programs. It will also aim to have after-school classes and programs, including youth sports, art classes, music classes and technology classes.

The city is also partnering with HealthPoint, a non-profit health center that will help provide health programs and services. Some of the health and wellness programs will include group exercise, cooking classes, personal training, health education, life management and personal training.

More in News

Halau Hula Ka Lei Mokihana I Ka Ua Noe perform at the 10th annual Uwajimaya Renton Polynesian Festival, Saturday Aug. 17. Photo by Haley Ausbun.
Celebrate culture with music, food and dance

The 10th annual Uwajimaya Renton Polynesian Festival was held Saturday Aug. 17,… Continue reading

Scott Kreidermacher, left, and Lara Randolph, right, hold up the food that remains from a busy day at the Free Grocery Store, a new project from nonprofit Sustainable Renton, on Monday, Aug. 19. Photo by Haley Ausbun.
Free grocery store to combat food waste

A small Renton nonprofit hopes to help homeless and keep food from the landfill

Melissa Glenn, hired in April 2019, is building the new social worker program at King County libraries “from the ground up.” Photo by Haley Ausbun.
Meeting those in-need where they congregate, the library

New library social worker is making swift, positive changes to lingering residents in need

Courtesy of Mary’s Place. Volunteers from KeyBank’s Hispanic-Latino Impact Networking Group and Key Women’s Network gave a formerly homeless family “everything they would need to start fresh in a new apartment” through the Make-a-Home program.
Volunteers needed to help displaced families

A mother and her children found a home in Renton thanks to Mary’s Place nonprofit

Staff, council scrap city-wide 20 mph plan

Neighborhoods can still request lower limits

Buses moving out of downtown

A new transit center may spur affordable home construction

From the Renton Reporter archives. The city has been sitting on the old Kaynan hangars, waiting to determine whether they’ll be demolished and reconstructed after the Airport Master Plan.
Councilmember sees loss of airport grant as a opportunity

Tricky airport planning is taking longer than expected, risking a $100K grant

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Seniors in nearby care facilities took flight in a 1942 Boeing Stearman biplane at Renton Municipal Airport, offered by Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation.
No age cap to fly

On Sunday, Aug. 11 and Monday Aug. 12 seniors from Burien, Mercer… Continue reading

Most Read