Tacoma’s historically underserved Eastside neighborhood had a great need for a community center. The vision was inspired by Billy Ray Shirley III, a young community leader who lost his life to gun violence in 2011. The community rallied in support of Billy Ray’s dream and community and industry partners came together to build the Eastside Community Center.
The 55,400-square-foot facility includes a natatorium with two event rooms, locker rooms, and family changing rooms; a full gymnasium, indoor track, weight room, cardio equipment, and group fitness room. Other amenities include a social hall, multiple classrooms, computer lounge, recording studio, commercial kitchen, café, and childcare center. Programming spaces include inclusive recreational facilities and multiuse gymnasium for all ages, space for performing and visual arts, as well multipurpose space for community use. Cross-laminated timber beams and panels were incorporated into the design and structure.
Project stakeholders combined resources and expertise to build the community center. Community events raised funds for the project. Tacoma Public Schools allowed the center to be built on the campus of First Creek Middle School. The Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound have doubled the number of youth served through a partnership with Metro Parks to use the community center.
This project achieved LEED Silver certification.