Monday, October 25, 2010

Laurelhurst Elementary Foundation Letter to City Council Regarding Closure of Community Center

Here is a letter sent to City Council from the President of the Friends of the Laurelhurst Elementary School Foundation regarding the proposed closure of the Laurelhurst Community Center.

There is still time to email the city council to give your input.  Just copy and paste these councilmember's email addresses into the to line of a message:,,,,,,,,,

"If neighbors unite on this budget issue, we can all make a difference—but the voices of neighbors must reach councilmembers before they make their budget decisions. There is no need to convert the lower level of the Laurelhurst Center to office space as there is plenty of office space available at Magnuson," Jeannie Hale, Laurelhurst Community Club President, told us in a recent email.

Letter from Rick Myers, Laurelhurst Elementary Foundation


Dear City Council Members,

The Board of the Friends of Laurelhurst Elementary Foundation has been tracking the distressing news of a possible closure of the Laurelhurst Community Center. I am the President of the Foundation and the Board has requested that I share our dissenting views of your intent to close or change the use of our Community Center.

Our Foundation was formed over 10 years ago by a group of parents, alumni and neighbors of Laurelhurst Elementary, who were dedicated to support our school by helping to fund an endowment that enriches the educational experience for each Laurelhurst Student. The goal for the endowment is to reach an initial threshold amount of $1M, which will then be able to generate predictable funding each year with a 5% annual giving goal. Currently over $500k has been raised and over $120k has been contributed back to the school during the life of the foundation. The foundation not only promotes a positive image of the public schools, but it also raises funds to help Laurelhurst Elementary Students of today and future generations.

We find it ironic, that our sister facility that is so intertwined with our school and is in far better physical shape, is close to being shuttered. Here we are working hard with our community to keep our Elementary School alive and thriving, and putting our private funds to use to upgrade this public facility. And yet attached to our school, the newly renovated Community Center is at risk. Our community long ago donated the property and start of the center to city. We are committed to keeping the school attached up to date. All of this with private funds. And yet know this gift is being taken and not being put to use as it was agreed to be. It makes us question if we will have the same thing done to our school after we put our own money into it as was done in previous generations.

Our community is actively involved in keeping these two public facilities and programs busy, thriving, clean, safe, secure, up to date, and supported. We show that with our time, resources and money. We have shown that historically in the beginning of the Community Center, now in today's support of our schools, and we will in the future. Please honor the intent of past generations gifts, as well as the current day supporters of your public facilities.

Rick Myers
Friends of Laurelhurst Elementary Foundation

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