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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Council Roundup: Botanical Garden architect hired

Also, block grant allocated for human services

A walkway at the Botanical Garden, by the current visitor center.The City Council Monday chose Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects to design a new visitor center and education center at the Bellevue Botanical Garden.

The city will pay OSKA, a Seattle-based firm, $997,000 to design facilities at the Botanical Garden to better accommodate more than 150,000 annual visits, as well as 140,000 visitors who come for Garden d'Lights each winter.

The facilities, which will have green design features and be consistent with the residential character of the Botanical Garden and its surroundings, are funded in part by the 2008 parks levy. The Bellevue Botanical Garden Society is raising the balance.
The Botanical Garden master plan, approved by the council in January, calls for:

  • A new visitor center, to be built at a new entry point right on Main Street, for orientation, interpretation and gathering for garden tours;
  • Remodeling the current visitor center -- the Shorts House -- to serve as an informal gathering place and resource center;
  • A new education center to replace the existing office/caretaker's house near Main Street;
  • Enlarging the parking lot with low-impact development techniques; and
  • Related site improvements, including a relocated entry drive and entry sequence, moving the Sharp Cabin and additional pathways and landscape plantings.

Feedback: Glenn Kost, Parks Planning Manager, 425-452-5258, gkost@bellevuewa.gov

HUD block grant allocated
Following a recommendation from the city's Human Services Commission, the council voted to allocate portions of an anticipated $719,000 federal block grant to Hopelink, ARCH (A Regional Coalition for Housing), the YWCA, Senior Services and Jewish Family Service. A majority of the grant will go to the city's own popular Home Repair program for low- and moderate-income homeowners.

The same local human services agencies and programs that received grant money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development last year are slated to receive about the same amount this year.

With block grant funding flatlining in recent years, the Human Services Commission did not even invite applications from new human services agencies this year. 

Feedback: Emily Leslie, Human Services Manager, 425-452-6452 or eleslie@bellevuewa.gov  

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