New pavilion planned at community center

Published on Thu, May 19, 2011 by Tara Nelson

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Youth at the Blaine Boys & Girls Club will have more space to play if plans for a covered pavilion area are completed.

During their regularly scheduled meeting Thursday, May 12, the Blaine planning commission approved a variance permit that would allow construction of a multi-use shelter at the Blaine senior center.

The proposal, put forth by the city of Blaine, would allow a 55-foot  by 80-foot covered pavilion on the southwest corner of Eighth and G streets near the Blaine senior center and Boys & Girls Club with a transparent roof, visible rafters and open sides. City planners said the design would maximize natural light and fresh air as well as add an outside restroom to the area.

Blaine City Manager Gary Tomsic said although the city owns the property and has funded the preliminary design work, the project will be paid for by the Boys & Girls Club and private donations.

“There will be no burden on the citizens of Blaine,” he said. “The only thing they’ll do is enjoy it.”

Tomsic said although the structure will primarily be used as a play space for youth in rainy weather, it could also be used for community barbecues, farmers markets and senior center events.

“Right now when the weather is bad, the kids have to stay indoors,” he said. “This will give them more space to play but it is also a community facility so it’s harmonious with the needs we have in the community. It’s going to be a cool thing.”

Birch Bay Realtor Mike Kent, who also serves as a board member to the Boys & Girls Club, said the facility will reduce the need for children to cross H Street to use the adjacent high school gym.

“It’s a safer solution,” he said. “We’re just thrilled that this opportunity came about.”

The city has not set a date for construction.