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Heritage Society Presents Proposal for Old Woodinville Schoolhouse

Their plan for funding lies in voter approved bonds, which would mean using property tax dollars to cover the cost of the renovation and parking.

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The  presented their plan to rehabilitate and operate the Old Woodinville Schoolhouse Tuesday at the Woodinville City Council meeting.

"It's always played an important role as a community gathering space," said Heritage Society President Rick Chatterton. "We want to keep it that way."

Essentially, the Heritage Society advocates keeping as much of the Old Woodinville Schoolhouse's integrity as possible, and would like it renovated for tenants, with more parking added through the demolition of an adjacent city building.

They envision the building having multiple tenants from and economic development offices to artist lofts and and perhaps retail, wine tasting rooms and/or a brewpub. But, the idea Chatterton and Heritage Society Vice President Kevin Stadler said they felt most strongly about is a community theater (with potentially 90-100 seats) on the second floor.

"We are really adamant about theater space as we develop final vision," Stadler told city councilors, adding that a theater would ensure the building would be a community gathering place.

Their plan for funding lies in voter approved bonds, which would mean using property tax dollars to cover the cost of the renovation and parking. Just how much in bonds is unknown at this point, but using numbers from a recent feasibility study by SHKS Artchitects, the Heritage Society estimated $5-6 million.

Also under this proposal, the city would retain ownership of the land and building, while tenants would pay rent, management and maintenance costs. 

on what to do with the building until they could present a proposal. The plan presented Tuesday night also came with help from the Chamber of Commerce.

As next steps, Chatterton and Stedler recommended the city council adopt a vision for schoolhouse with city staff then determining the cost to implement that vision. They also said they'd be willing to split the cost (estimated at $6,000) of a having a professional survey done to see if the public would be willing to bond for the project.

Deputy Mayor Liz Aspen said she thought the plan was fantastic.

"I would love to support going to find out what public thinks about this," she said about the survey idea.

The future of the Old Woodinville Schoolhouse has been in debate since the city relocated city hall from the historic building in 2001. 

Check back for updates to this story later today.

Saira V. September 12, 2012 at 03:30 AM
I hope the Heritage Society puts their money up to buy and renovate the old school instead of offering other people's money to do their bidding!
Kat Stremlau September 12, 2012 at 04:14 AM
I was at the meeting tonight - it seems like a good plan, but they do need voter approval to get it done.
Bob Martinek September 12, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Low rent office space for start ups?
Charlain D Jorgensen September 12, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Sure would like to see the Woodinville Farmers Market included in their plans somewhere!
Saira V. September 12, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Low rent or subsidized rent? Woodinville taxpayers are being asked to pitch $500 each for every man, woman and child so that a few business people can enjoy low rent. What a stupid idea.
Saira V. September 12, 2012 at 05:55 PM
If Woodinville wants to honor education at the tune of $5-6M, then why invest in brick and mortar. Why not create a scholarship fund for graduating high school seniors (residents only) who are continuing their educational pursuits at the university. Honoring Woodinville students seems to make more cents than sinking money into a shrine for the past. Of course, there is always the 'do nothing' option that costs everyone the least.
Saira V. September 13, 2012 at 12:14 AM
The city should consider selling the school house to help pay off its other borrowed debts.
Kim Weers September 13, 2012 at 04:25 AM
I think the idea of turning the Schoolhouse into a community place is fabulous--please include the theater, offer classes for young and old for drama students, artists of all kinds, (musicians, visual, etc), a coffee house, lecture series, public forums, the Chamber, some retail, keep the Farmer's Market location, ...it could be a real asset to Woodinville. Kim
Braunzie September 13, 2012 at 04:31 AM
I would like to see an up or down vote too. Up would have woodinville taxpayers underwrite the building that is falling apart literally and down is to tear it down and make use of the space for parking for the Carol edwards center that still has 50 more years of life to it.
Saira V. September 13, 2012 at 07:19 PM
A theatre company would be awesome! Do you think that you could arrange 100 supporters to contribute $50,000 each for that vision? Perhaps 500 supporters at $10,000 each. My point is that restoring the schoolhouse is not feasible for anybody except those who seek to make residents pay for something that noone else is willing to pay for.
Ron Olson September 18, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Let's see....$5.5 million, divided by 3600 households....hmmmmm, that's about $1,527.00 per Woodinville homeowner.
Kristin Gulledge September 18, 2012 at 04:30 PM
I guess I was the only one that wanted it turned into a KCLS library branch. Just a small one with little or no renovations to the building (just enough to bring it up to code). It would be great to have a library in our downtown. Oh well. Wow, more wineries? Sure will be funny when Prohibition becomes the fad again. (just kidding but we want to make sure not to put all of our eggs into one basket) I'm all for preserving the building and I'm happy to see that there is a plan (even if there isn't a library included). It's good to keep one thing from the past (better than a Walmart).
Kat Stremlau September 18, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Whoa....I didn't even THINK about that. For years I wished there was a library downtown. Perhaps KCLS could take over a small space for a hold/returns area? That would be a great benefit to the people who live within city limits...and perhaps sway voters to pay for it!
Saira V. September 18, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Yes Ron. The saving grace to our purses is a public bond vote requires 60% approval and we know that there is nothing that Woodinville can agree on at that level!!! Woodinville is lucky to see 45% turn out at the polls.
Lisa Baumann (Editor) September 18, 2012 at 11:51 PM
From what I understand from last week's city council meeting, for it to pass, they only need 60 percent of the voters who actually turned out for the previous election...Anyone else hear that?
Ron Olson September 19, 2012 at 12:45 AM
When people find out that it will cost them $1,527.00 per household, the vote will be NO to spending money on the old schoolhouse. Keep in mind that the driving force behind this is Lucy DeYoung, who does not even live in Woodinville. I find it amazing that a non-resident has so much pull in a city. Isn't this the same woman that is behind destroying agricultural land in the Sammamish Valley so a hotel can be built? Woodinville taxpayers spent $6 MILLION dollars on infrastructure in order to build a hotel and tourist facilities in the CITY at the Wine Village site. But a non-resident is pushing for building a hotel on agricultural land that will destroy any chance of Woodinville taxpayers seeing a return on their investment. Is Lucy DeYoung a friend of Woodinville taxpayers? No way. If it has Lucy DeYoung's name on it, you can bet your life it is not good for Woodinville taxpayers.
Saira V. September 19, 2012 at 05:07 AM
Ron, isn't this the same person who was the city mayor, who oversaw the rezoning of vacant valley property into a bustling commercial enterprise and used a business address to satisfy her city residence? I still question why the town name is Woodinville and not something more personal. Times change but small-town politics continues to this day in Woodinville.
Edwin September 20, 2012 at 04:28 AM
This is simply ridiculous to think the citizens of Woodinville will foot a 6 Million dollar bill when Woodinville - Duvall Rd is yet to be fixed. It might be a better proposal than the previous and it is more expensive. Any bond for the schoolhouse is a vote NO for me.

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