City Council discusses future use of Hawthorne Hall

By Kate Agbayani | Jul 10, 2019
Photo by: Kate Agbayani Mayor Jennifer Gregerson discussing the possible use of the upstairs part of the building with Community Development Director David Osaki.

With the Mukilteo Boys and Girls Club (MBGC) in their new facility in Harbour Pointe, City officials are looking at what to do with the old Boys & Girls Club building, also known as Hawthorne Hall.

The Mukilteo City Council held a worksession July 8 to discuss the future direction of the building, which included a tour of the building.

Hawthorne Hall is currently under lease by the MBGC, but is not being actively used for youth programs since the Club moved to their new building earlier this year.

The MBGC’s only use of the building since the move has been limited to cleaning.

There are three main alternatives for the property that the City has focused on in past discussions of the building:

The first alternative is to sell the property.

The City can either prepare the building for sale, which would require repairs to the building, and potentially require a hazardous materials survey because of the age of the building. The building was placed on Mukilteo’s Register of Historic Places in 1993.

It can also be sold on an as-is basis, which requires only minimal repairs in order to enhance the property’s market value.

Demolishing the building and selling the land is also an option, but would also require a hazardous materials survey and removal of the hazardous materials if any were to be found.

The second alternative for the property would be to reuse the building for City functions.

Two distinct City uses of the building have been identified.

One use would support Police Department activities such as public outreach, crime prevention training, police volunteers, storage, and simulation training.

The other use would support the Parks and Recreation Department for possible youth/adult gym space, indoor youth activities, and adult exercise.

However, neither the Police Department nor the Parks and Recreation Department would need extensive use of the building. This means that the building could potentially be a jointuse between the two departments.

The third alternative is to lease the building.

In the past several years, there has been interest from Blue Royals Volleyball Academy about leasing the building and possible purchase.

A joint use of the building between the City and a nonprofit organization is also possible as long as the nonprofit complies with the City’s needs and hours of operation.

The option to lease the building to another City was another option brought up by Community Development Director David Osaki.

Before further talking about what the future use of the building would be the councilmemebers focused their discussion on the current condition of the building.

Councilmember Scott Whelpley emphasized the need to further examine all parts of the building, especially the interior.

“We need to find out what’s exactly wrong with the building,” said Whelpley.

As of right now there have only been visual inspections of the exterior and interior of the building.

Therefore, a structural assessment of the area below the building and within the building walls have not been conducted.

Whelpley also brought up potential roofing issues.

Another issue that was previously presented at past City Council meetings was Hawthorne Hall’s place on the Mukilteo Register of Historic Places.

If any changes were to happen to the building, the City’s Historic Commission needs to evaluate the impacts and changes to the property on the historic register.

However, the City’s Historic Commission is no longer active, so the City Council must find a way to either reestablish the commission or assign its duties to another commission.

As part of the worksession, councilmembers had the chance to tour the building.

In their visit, they observed that parts of the roof looked less damaged than others, and had a mix of old and new roofing.

They also took into account the possible uses for each of the rooms now that most of the items have been cleared by the MBGC.

The councilmembers leaned towards the idea of hiring an inspector to assess the structure within the building’s walls.

Council President Christine Cook expressed her personal feelings about Hawthorne Hall being a historic building.

“It’ll be really good for the community if we can make it work financially,” said Cook.

At the end of the worksession, the councilmemebers agreed to discuss the costs of hiring the inspector, along with other repairs of the building at a regular council meeting in the future.








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