Wallingford Community Center

With the economy the way it is, the long-time goal of Wallingford community activists to extract money from the city to bring a community center to Wallingford has drifted further out of reach. But, if we are nothing else, Wallingford is a neighborhood of roll-with-the-punches problem solvers. When they say it can’t be done, we do it just to be show ‘em.

Thus, we unveil the “distributed community center” (or “virtual community center”, if you prefer). It’s like a building, but better! It’s many buildings.

We first caught wind of this idea chatting with community activists Mike Ruby and Cathy Tuttle in the Wallingford Neighborhood Office last week: let’s solve at least one of the problems that a community center might address without waiting for help: meeting space.

If your group or organization needs space to meet in Wallingford (and you’re tired of trying to assemble unoccupied chairs together in a coffee shop), Wallingford has a number of options, including meeting spaces for up to 100 people, some for free, many inexpensive. With Mike’s help, we’ve assembled a list of these spaces on this page:

>> Wallingford Community Spaces <<

There’s almost a dozen of them there (and if we forgot one, please let us know).

Of course, this resource listing doesn’t provide all the benefits of a community center. For example, it doesn’t provide the serendipitous interactions you get when multiple organizations share a single space┬ácontemporaneously, but maybe we can look to community-wide events like Art Walk to help build those novel and unexpected connections.

  1. DOUG. said,

    “distributed community center” is oxymoronic.

    Mon, March 28 at 8:28 am
  2. Jacqui said,

    The Wallingford Boys & Girls Club also rents out space, ranging from the gym to meeting areas upstairs.

    Mon, March 28 at 10:57 am
  3. gregf said,

    I shed a tear every time I read something like this. Over 12 years of work by many, many volunteers, lining things up with the City Council, with the School District, with the Parks Department, with the community, and even with our State representative. The major volunteer work at the park led by Friends of Wallingford Playfield in 1999 to 2005 fulfilled part of the plan. Endless meetings. Hundreds of households. Everything was ready to go… we thought….

    Unfortunately the WCC at a critical time was unable to provide the leadership to bring the community together and a few Hamilton parents chose to fight the community plans, so it all slipped away. It takes a huge, cooperative effort to make a community center happen. The School District did a “divide and conquer”. We were so very close. Best laid plans, and all that….

    Read the Neighborhood Plan to see what could have been!

    Mon, March 28 at 5:34 pm
  4. shirley said,

    Oh, I could not agree more with gregf! He summarized it very well. But really, there were hundreds and hundreds of hours spent on the Neighborhood Plan. The Seattle School District, the WWC (at that time, as greg said) and a very few misinformed parents at Hamilton, did combine to contribute to the demise of the the implementation of the Neighborhood Plan.
    Ss so sad.

    Mon, March 28 at 5:52 pm
  5. Judy said,

    Let’s keep going, after mourning the valiant past efforts. I vote for having the Wallingford Community Senior Center as the hub of a community center. I went to a family movie night the Center staff organized: kids, popcorn, pizza, pop and a silly animated film. I really felt part of a community.

    Tue, March 29 at 9:36 am
  6. Aaron A. @ Wallingfarm said,

    I second Judy! I was also at the movie night, and have participated in the community kitchens that have been ongoing, and I have to say that the WCSC really wants to build community. I am very disappointed that the WCSC wasn’t mentioned up front as the place to go. They have been trying everything for the past year or more to get out, meet neighbors, bring in community and support those in the community who need a place to go. I know from Kathleen, the director, that they are looking for partners to build or grow a more broad-based community center. If anything ever deserved or needed to be broadcast to the people of Wallingford, the WCSC is it! Hoorah for community (^o^)/

    Tue, March 29 at 10:05 am
  7. shirley said,

    WCSC is the Wallingford Community Senior Center. It is a great organization, has activities for families and all ages, as well as activities for Seniors! People marvelous.
    Agree with Aaron Wallingfarm whole heartedly!

    Tue, March 29 at 10:56 am
  8. Wallyhood said,

    @Jacqui, thanks for the tip! I’ve updated the listing with the Boys and Girls Club info.

    Fri, April 1 at 10:13 pm

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