Design Commission approves PEAK plans

The City of Mercer Island Design Commission approved a final design for the Boys & Girls Club PEAK facility on Dec. 10. The seven-member commission has spent the past several months reviewing the Weinstein A/U design and granted preliminary approval on Nov. 12.

The three-story, 41,300- square-foot activity center will be located at 4120 86th Ave. S.E., set between the Mercer Island High School Crest Learning Center and CHILD private school. PEAK will include a field house with three high school-sized courts, a multipurpose room, tech and learning center, game room, childcare rooms and office space. The building will be flanked by two parking lots to the north and south. A “drop-off friendly” entryway, enclosed playground and safe bike paths are also part of the design.

“The PEAK design proposal was approved with minor conditions,” said Commission chair Bryan Caditz, mentioning slight parking revisions as an example.

A day after the Commission approved the PEAK design, Mercer Island School District project manager Liz LeRoy presented the report to the School Board during its Dec. 11 meeting. After reviewing and discussing the blueprints, the Board accepted the plan as approved by the Design Commission.

Overall, the School Board was impressed with the plan and eager to break ground.

“We’ve gone through many ups and downs, and now we are hitting stride, getting closer to construction,” Superintendent Gary Plano said during last Thursday’s meeting.

A few questions were raised by School Board members regarding plans to relocate the Maintenance, Operations and Transportation (MOT) building, safe bike paths to PEAK and existing trees on the site. LeRoy provided a direct answer for each concern.

“Keeping as many existing trees as possible was key,” she said. “They’ll replace some madronas and keep most of the other trees.”

District plans to relocate the MOT building, which currently sits in the proposed PEAK construction site, are also ecologically sensitive. According to LeRoy, contractors will move the building “so as not to impact the root zone of trees.” She added that the Design Commission thoroughly reviewed this process during its MOT study session, which was part of the Dec. 10 meeting.

Now that both parties have approved the PEAK design, the city and school district will hustle to get all necessary building permits approved. Construction is scheduled to begin in April.

Detailed blueprints of PEAK, along with a graphic image, are included in the School Board’s Dec. 11 packet, which can be downloaded from the district Web site:

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