Allan Mayer hasn’t run into any naysayers as he drums up support for the Community Center at Lake Chelan. Mayer, a board member of the Seven Acres Foundation and head of the marketing committee for the new community center currently under construction, said he’s never had to justify the $13 million project to potential donors.
The community center, which is being built on Bighorn Avenue just off Highway 150, is big in both size and scope. The 44,100-square-foot facility will include a multi-purpose room that can be used as a full-size basketball court, two practice courts that can also be used as three volleyball courts and a community meeting space. It will include an indoor children’s play structure, a 25-yard competition swimming pool, and courts for pickleball and sand volleyball.
There has not been a community center in the Chelan-Manson area. Youth sports teams lack practice space and must compete for practice times at busy school gymnasiums. There is a lack of indoor play areas. Families of all socio-economic levels face constraints, but like all such constraints they weigh more heavily on the poor and disadvantaged.
These are realities that hit the Seven Acres Foundation founding members when they first came together about four years ago. The group envisioned building a church, but when they considered the needs of the community they decided to instead form a secular nonprofit. Its first mission: creating a community center to address these needs.
The center will provide space for individuals and existing teams and leagues, and it will also host its own programs for children and youth of all socio-economic backgrounds.
The structure will offer office space to nonprofits at reduced lease fees in an attempt to turn it into a hub for such groups.
Nonprofits that have committed to leasing space in the building include Real Life NCW, Roots Community School, Special Olympics Washington, Thrive Chelan Valley, The Vine Coffee and Chelan Valley Young Life.
Seven Acres Foundation is working with the Chelan area’s newly formed Latino Community Council to ensure that its vision will successfully reach the Latino population.
In all these plans, the foundation is aiming to encourage its core values of service, relationships, compassion and wellness.
The center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, but once constructed will aim to support itself financially. Office space will be leased on a sliding scale, with nonprofits paying lower fees. Facility usage fees will apply, but these will be kept reasonable to achieve the goal of providing access to all. Scholarships will be available for those who can’t afford the fees.
Ground was broken on the community center last October, and the goal is to have the main facility open by the fall of 2022. According to the community center website, fundraising has reached about 61% of the funds needed.
For more information about the Community Center at Lake Chelan, or to donate to the project, visit ccatlakechelan.org.