Local Services awarded a $2 million grant to the Renton Innovation Zone Partnership (RIZP) and King County Housing Authority (KCHA) for development of a resource center at a former bank building in the heart of the unincorporated community of Skyway and West-Hill.
King County’s Department of Local Services has awarded $2 million to build a new home for the Skyway Resource Center. The space will provide a holistic array of social services, health and wellness services, and community-based organization support for the neighborhood – much like the center’s regular mobile “pop-up” events it has held throughout the community the past year and a half.
The new center will be located at the former U.S. Bank building at 12610 76th Ave. S, across the street from the Skyway Library, one of the King County Libraries, and is scheduled for completion in 2023.
“King County is excited to join with advocates of the Skyway Resource Center to make this investment and create a direct, positive impact in this community,” Executive Dow Constantine said. “A project like this requires partnerships from across the community, along with passionate advocacy, to become reality. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s possible with this center for the Skyway community.”
“This investment is the culmination of efforts by and for the Skyway community,” said King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay. “I’m proud to be part of this project and the work that has been done, but more than that, I’m proud to be a part of a community where neighbors uplift and create a better future for each other. I can’t wait to attend the grand opening of the Skyway Resource Center!”
The Skyway Resource Center
The Skyway Resource Center launched in September 2020 after a year of planning and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With backbone support from RIZP and help from other agencies and community partners, “pop-up” events have occurred at New Birth Ministries, Campbell Hill Elementary, and currently at the King County Fire District 20 in Skyway.
More than 25 community-based organizations and public entities have provided services and resources to more than 500 community members at these events. Help includes everything from food to diapers and baby essentials to rental and housing assistance, as well as educational programs.
The Skyway Resource Center concept builds off years of community planning, dating back to 2014 and later with the Skyway-West Hill Action Plan, which identified the need to, “establish a space open to the community where service providers can conduct programs geared toward activities to benefit youth, seniors and/or other targeted populations.”
Following the October 2020 announcement that the U.S. Bank location in Skyway would be closing, the bank and community members came together to discuss next steps for the facility with a focus on providing meaningful impact for local residents.
In April of last year, organizers received a Local Community Projects grant from the Washington Department of Commerce, on behalf of the taxpayers of Washington State, for building renovation. The following October, U.S. Bank donated the land and 4,568 square-foot building to KCHA, which will support the redevelopment project to create a permanent location for the Skyway Resource Center and hold the property on behalf of the community until property ownership is ultimately transferred to a community development association.
In the last 12 months, U.S. Bank has expanded its support in the Skyway community, donating $50,000 to Communities In Schools – Renton for rent and utility support for Skyway residents and providing a $50,000 Market Impact Fund Grant to RIZP to fund a new immersion program for Title 1 elementary and middle school students in the Skyway/West-Hill neighborhoods.
King County is excited to join with advocates of the Skyway Resource Center to make this investment and create a direct, positive impact in this community. A project like this requires partnerships from across the community, along with passionate advocacy, to become reality. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s possible with this center for the Skyway community.
This investment is the culmination of efforts by and for the Skyway community. I’m proud to be part of this project and the work that has been done, but more than that, I’m proud to be a part of a community where neighbors uplift and create a better future for each other. I can’t wait to attend the grand opening of the Skyway Resource Center!
This is an example of how government can play a role in directly improving the lives of its residents. We listened to the community, worked with partners and invested in an effort that will have immediate and long-term benefits for Skyway. We are happy that we are contributing to something that will undoubtedly be a tremendous community resource.
Skyway has been home to me for over 20 years. Growing up in the region as a teenager, I was forced to go outside of my neighborhood to participate in recreational activities and find youth and family support services. With a permanent Skyway Resource Center, I am confident that families will finally get the support they need and look forward to continuing our partnership with Renton Innovation Zone Partnership and King County Housing Authority.
The Skyway Resource Center redevelopment project is the culmination of successful partnership between community organizations and government. The grant from King County marks a critical milestone in the project as it closes the remaining funding gap and will propel the project forward. King County Housing Authority is very excited to be part of this effort and looks forward to continuing to support Renton Innovation Zone Partnership and other Skyway community organizations in creating a permanent home for the Skyway Resource Center.
Thanks to community members advocating in King County's most recent biennium budget, this money was available to be directed towards this project. Those actions now represent a permanent home for our community to benefit from multi-generational programming and services. This project represents the beginning of a community-owned development the people of Skyway have wanted and advocated for over the years.
For more information, contact:
Brent Champaco, King County Local Services, 206-477-9094
Rhonda Rosenberg, King County Housing Authority, 206-574-1185
Jasmine RaeLynn, Renton Innovation Zone Partnership, 901-206-3741