Phinney Neighborhood Association Programs
Current programs include three preschool cooperatives, a licensed preschool and school age program at Whittier Elementary, a hot meal program, programs for seniors, including the Greenwood Senior Center and PNA Village, an art gallery, tool lending library, community education, business and family membership program, affordable room rentals for community groups, and countless special events that bring friends and neighbors together. We also co-sponsor a summer farmers market, weekly contra dancing and folk music concerts. PNA serves over 25,000 people each year, has 70 staff, 1,500 volunteers and an annual budget of $2.6 million.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
The PNA’s Phinney Center buildings have always been a huge asset, providing a sense of place in the community as well as a sustaining source of income for the organization. However, the buildings have also presented significant challenges, particularly around accessibility. Largely unchanged since they were built, both are three stories and, until 2012, neither had an elevator or fully accessible restrooms. As a result, many community members cannot participate in the full range of activities and programming offered simply because the buildings have not been accessible.
Since 2008, the PNA has been engaged in a capital campaign to purchase and renovate the Phinney Center site to make it more accessible to all community members and improve the safety and efficiency of the site. With the help of many supporters, including the Norman Archibald Charitable Foundation, we successfully completed Phase 1 of the project in late 2012. This included purchasing the site and buildings from Seattle Public Schools, and a renovation of the 1904 Blue Building, installing an elevator, new entryway and community plaza, and completion of seismic and ADA improvements. Significant capital repairs were made to the 1917 Brick Building as well, including replacing the roof, and repairing the boiler and sewer lines. Phase 1 cost $6.4 million.
Phase 2 of the Campaign for Accessibility is designed to take our Brick Building from inaccessible to accessible to all, adding an elevator, new entryway and community plaza, renovating restrooms, and completing selective seismic improvements. Phase 2 will cost $2.2 million. Included in this cost is the creation of a campus sustainability fund to address critical ongoing capital needs to ensure our buildings will continue to serve our community for generations to come.
To date, PNA has raised $870,000 in support from individuals, businesses and foundations towards this effort. We have also been recommended to receive $727,500 from the Washington State’s Heritage Capital Projects Fund (HCPF), ranking third on the list (of 31 projects approved for funding), placing us at 74% of our fundraising goal. Although the legislature is still in session, full funding for the HCPF is currently in both the House and Senate budgets. We feel confident that we will be able to raise the additional funds for the campaign and meet our objective of eliminating barriers to accessibility at the Phinney Center campus.