Former Whidbey Island gymnasium to reopen as community center

A former school gymnasium building on South Whidbey Island is set to reopen next month as a new community center and resource.

The restored and reimagined gymnasium will be a new centerpiece of the South Whidbey Community Center, which was established at the former Langley Middle School Campus, at 723 Camano Ave., in 2018 following the school’s closure in 2017.

The building will also be used as a disaster relief center for residents of South Whidbey Island in the case of an emergency.

The approximately 15,800 -square-foot former gym dates back to the 1950s. To get the space ready for its next chapter the building has undergone a seismic retrofit designed by project architect BuildingWork and structural engineer Swenson Say Faget. Original hardwood floors have been restored and original clerestory windows re-opened to bring more daylight into the space.

The building’s exterior is painted with an eye-catching mural by Jarvis Art Studio that reflects its new purpose as a place for community and connection. Commissioned by the client, the mural was done concurrently with the renovation project.

The project team also includes South Whidbey School District, client; Kassel & Associates Inc.; general contractor; RDH Building Science, envelope consultant; PBS Engineering and Environmental, HazMat consultant; and PanGEO, geotechnical engineer.

The South Whidbey Community Center offers learning activities for all ages and opportunities to explore creative expression and personal development. The center operates under the umbrella of Readiness To Learn, a non-profit organization that works in partnership with schools, communities and families to help each child reach their potential regardless of their circumstances.

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