Burien Community Center Annex Building Closure

Page updated January 17, 2020

The Burien Community Center Annex ("the Annex") occupies the former Burien Community Center. The building sits next to a multi-amenity park that includes a popular skate park, basketball court, picnic tables, and open grassy spaces.

The City of Burien is closing the Annex because initial inspections have found significant concerns with the structural integrity of the building. Current tenants must be out of the building by July 31, 2020.

Why is the Annex being closed?

Read update on closure (published January 17, 2020, 12:30 p.m.) 

Read update on closure (published January 7, 2020, 12:45 p.m.) 

Read update on closure (published December 17, 2019, 2 p.m.) 

Read update on closure (published December 13, 2019, 4:15 p.m.) 

The City hired MENG Analysis in November 2019 to conduct an examination of the Annex in order to provide an assessment of the condition of the Annex’s roof, chimney, boiler, HVAC, air quality, electrical, foundation, and other fixtures. The City undertook this evaluation in order to inform the City’s decision to either salvage or demolish the Annex.

The consultant delivered a verbal assessment of the condition of the Annex to City officials on Monday, December 2, 2019. The consultant reported that while the Annex presents no immediate health, life, and safety danger, the building’s chimney, ventilation, plumbing, boiler, electrical, and ventilation systems are in serious need of repair and/or replacement. The extent to which these repairs are necessary may result in the City making a decision to demolish the building.

Burien Community Center Annex Facility Condition Reports

Annex tenant support

The City of Burien has assembled an internal team dedicated to assisting the tenants of the Annex with relocation. The Annex Tenant Support Team is evaluating other city facilities, seeking alternate sites in Burien, and working with external partners to support relocation efforts. The City will also be waiving rent for the month of January for all the organizations.

Annex Tenant Support Team

Each organization has been assigned a City staff liaison, a community partner, and a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) representative to assist with relocation efforts. 

If you are interested in learning how you can contribute to this effort, please email City staff at annexsupport@burienwa.gov.

Annex Tenant City Staff Contact Partner Contact SBDC Contact
Burien Actors Theatre Gina Kallman, Cultural Arts Supervisor, City of Burien Andrea Reay, President/CEO, Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce Rich Shockley, Small Business Development Center at Highline College
Hi-liners  Gina Kallman, Cultural Arts Supervisor, City of Burien Andrea Reay, President/CEO, Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce Rich Shockley, Small Business Development Center at Highline College
Burien Cooperative Preschool Casey Stanley, Interim Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director, City of Burien Andrea Reay, President/CEO, Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce Rich Shockley, Small Business Development Center at Highline College
Para los Niños Lorraine Chachere, Economic Development Specialist, City of Burien Debra George, Executive Director, Discover Burien Rich Shockley, Small Business Development Center at Highline College
Transform Burien Colleen Brandt-Schluter, Human Services Manager, City of Burien Debra George, Executive Director, Discover Burien Rich Shockley, Small Business Development Center at Highline College
Meals on Wheels Kristy Dunn, Recreation Supervisor, City of Burien  
Journey Arts and Crafts Casey Stanley, Interim Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director, City of Burien Debra George, Executive Director, Discover Burien Rich Shockley, Small Business Development Center at Highline College

Frequently asked questions

If there is not an immediate life safety issue, why are you not giving the tenants more time?

This decision was not taken lightly, as the City understands all of the vital services provided by these organizations. The verbal report from MENG Analysis given to the City on December 2, 2019 indicated that there are imminent structural, mechanical, and construction material failures, which present significant safety concerns. When the City requested this inspection, it was not expected that the findings would indicate that the building’s systems were failing so badly and could potentially put staff and participants in these organizations in harm’s way. 

On January 16, 2020, during an emergency council meeting, Council directed the City Manager to extend the leases for tenants of the Burien Annex Building until the end of July 2020, with the option of tenants of going month to month until July 2020.

See January 17, 2020 update.

What is the City doing to help the Annex tenants find a new location?

The City of Burien has assembled an internal team dedicated to assisting the tenants of the Annex with relocation. The Annex Tenant Support Team is evaluating other city facilities, seeking alternate sites in Burien, and working with external partners to support relocation efforts. The City will also be waiving rent at the Annex for the month of January for all the organizations.

If you are interested in learning how you can contribute to this effort, please email City staff at annexsupport@burienwa.gov.

What will the City do with the property?

Future plans are to be determined. The final MENG Analysis report will help the City make an informed decision on next steps.

Will the City sell the property for private development?

The City does not plan to sell the property for private development. The City is committed to maintaining it as a public space.

What has the City done to maintain and repair the building over time?

The City has conducted repairs and maintenance to the facility over the years. This includes repairs to the roof, boiler, HVAC system, water line, and sewer lines. Also, fixtures have been replaced, walls have been painted, and some flooring has been replaced. The cost of operating and repairing the building far exceed the revenue received from the organizations renting the building.

How much would repairs cost if the City decided to repair the building?

The MENG Analysis report will determine which repairs would be needed to make the building safe. However, based on the preliminary verbal report, demolition may be the only feasible option.

What does the written report from MENG Analysis tell us?

The MENG Analysis report provides an assessment of issues in the building as well as provide possible solutions.

Read the report.

What will happen to the empty building?

The building will be secured until next steps are determined.

Will tenants need to pay rent in January?

No, they will not need to pay rent in January.

How much of the City's budget has been allocated to maintenance of the Annex?

The PaRCS Department has a facilities budget for City-owned property. In 2019, this was budgeted at $241,000 and in 2020 it is budgeted at $246,000. Maintenance and operations of the Annex Building are drawn from this account. This does not include PaRCS Department staff labor costs directed to the Annex Building.

History of the Burien Community Center Annex

Chelsea Park Elementary School was built on former farm and residential land. The school was constructed in the late 1940s to relieve overcrowding at Lake Burien, Hazel Valley, and Sunnydale Elementary Schools. Chelsea Park School closed in 1976.

With funding from the 1968 Forward Thrust Parks and Recreation bond, the former school building was converted to the Highline Community Center and was managed by the King County Parks Department. Once the City of Burien incorporated in 1993, ownership of the buildings and grounds transferred to the City and it became the Burien Community Center. For many years, it served as the offices of the Burien Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department (PaRCS).

In 2010, the City relocated the PaRCS department to the former Burien Library building at 14700 6th Ave SW, which the City had acquired several years earlier. The former library building became the new Burien Community Center. This left the former building in need of a new name, and it was then renamed the Community Center Annex, or simply “The Annex.”

Nonprofit organizations have worked out of the building for decades.