City officials celebrate the new Parks Maintenance Center after slamming sledgehammers against a short wall within the old Office Max building as a way to “break ground” on the renovation project. Kailan Manandic / staff photo

City officials celebrate the new Parks Maintenance Center after slamming sledgehammers against a short wall within the old Office Max building as a way to “break ground” on the renovation project. Kailan Manandic / staff photo

Kirkland ‘breaks walls’ on Parks Maintenance Center project

City officials broke holes in a short wall to commemorate the project’s official launch.

The Kirkland City Council green-lit the new Parks Maintenance Center at the May 21 general meeting to turn around and celebrate its groundbreaking the next day.

The new facility, intended to enhance parks maintenance services in Kirkland’s newest neighborhoods, will take the place of a former Office Max location at 12006 120th Place Northeast. Mayor Penny Sweet spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony that invited locals to learn about the project and enjoy refreshments before city officials broke holes in a short wall to commemorate the project’s official launch.

“What a beautiful day for us to do this beautiful deed,” Sweet said. “Our parks maintenance crews mow an annual average of four million square feet of grass and replace 125 miles of toilet paper in our parks facilities…Thank you to all our parks maintenance staff members for all the hard work you do to serve all of our city’s treasured parks and open spaces.”

Council had awarded a bid for the building’s renovations the night before at its meeting. Most of the city council attended the groundbreaking, including Jon Pascal, Jay Arnold, Kelli Curtis and Toby Nixon, along with numerous city workers and staff.

Green Kirkland Partnership will also benefit from the location’s storage space as it grows within the community. Overall, the facility’s biggest impact will be allowing city workers to maintain a warehouse inventory as opposed to buying or renting equipment and materials as they’re needed, according to Parks and Community Services director Lynn Zwaagstra.

The city currently oversees 50 parks across 696 acres of land and parks maintenance staff has insufficient space to store all the necessary equipment and materials for the area they’re responsible for.

Through the 2011 annexation of North Juanita, Finn Hill and Kingsgate, Kirkland gained 154 acres of parks and open spaces, including 132nd Square, OO Denny and Edith Moulton parks. The new Parks Maintenance Center location was chosen for its location along the Cross Kirkland Corridor and proximity to the neighborhoods it will serve.

The space is about 25,000 square feet, which will efficiently serve the parks maintenance department’s needs, according to city officials. The facility will included showers, locker rooms, a drying room, numerous tool rooms, a hazardous chemical room, workshops, enhanced security measures and a staff room big enough to host the entire parks maintenance staff.

“We’re very excited about this new facility,” Zwaagstra said. “The facility is really an amazing investment. By investing in our facilities, by investing in equipment and investing in staff, ultimately we are investing in the park system and we’re investing in our community.”

After searching for seven years, the city purchased the building from Office Max for about $8 million in 2018, according to city documents. National commercial real estate firm, CBRE Group, valued the space at $8.8 million in a report prepared for the city.

“The new parks maintenance center will allow staff to efficiently and effectively serve all of the city’s treasured parks and opens spaces into the future,” Sweet said. “The project is another important milestone in fulfilling the commitments the city made prior to annexation.”

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly spelled Kirkland councilmember Kelli Curtis.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

City officials commemorate the new Parks Maintenance Center by slamming sledgehammers against a short wall within the old Office Max building as a way to “break ground” on the renovation project. Kailan Manandic / staff photo

City officials commemorate the new Parks Maintenance Center by slamming sledgehammers against a short wall within the old Office Max building as a way to “break ground” on the renovation project. Kailan Manandic / staff photo

More in News

City of Kirkland/Courtesy photo
Temporary art piece tells story of ‘hope, strength’ during COVID-19 pandemic

Kirkland, once the epicenter of the virus, is now telling the story of the pandemic through four art pieces on Park Lane.

School lunch. File photo
School district distributes thousands of extra meals amid pandemic

Congress hasn’t renewed the program, which provided twice as many student meals for free last spring.

The Enumclaw Health and Rehabilitation Center, which is located by St. Elizabeth hospital, a senior living community, and a nursing home. File photo
Inslee lifts visitation ban at long-term care facilities

Starting Wednesday, a four-phase plan will allow restrictions at nursing homes to gradually be relaxed.

Courtesy photo/City of Kirkland
Kirkland council puts funds towards community outreach to address racism

The council approved a resolution to work towards ending structural racism, as well as $380,000 in outreach funding.

Screenshot from Gov. Jay Inslee’s press conference on Aug. 5, 2020.
Inslee says schools in virus hot spots should stay closed

King County among high-risk counties; several school districts will have remote learning in the fall.

King County Election headquarters in Renton on Aug. 4 for the primary election. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Inslee and Culp lead governor race; incumbent Dems ahead for Congress | Statewide results

Early results for governor, state schools chief, attorney general and more.

Democrats dominate King County legislative races | Election results

Here are the latest results for King County legislative candidates in the… Continue reading

Inslee mask graphic
Free mask event for King County residents, Aug. 4 in Bellevue

The drive-thru distribution event will offer two masks per person

Primary election 2020: Who will emerge as Inslee’s challenger?

Voting ends Tuesday in an election without big rallies and fund-raisers and face-to-face debates

Sex ed, local control at heart of race for WA state schools chief

Incumbent Chris Reykdal faces five foes who argue he’s pushing too many state policies on school districts.

Bullet that killed Bothell officer came from partner’s gun

But prosecutors say that’s “immaterial,” and charged Henry Washington with aggravated murder Friday.

Inslee warns of stay home order as COVID cases rise

The governor urges young people, who are not getting infected the most, to curb their social habits.