DelBene earmarks $1.5 million for regional community venue and emergency coordination center in Snoqualmie Valley

The facility will serve as a space for farmers markets as well as an emergency response hub.

A space for the Snoqualmie Valley community is being planned in Carnation and community leaders are saying it will serve as a venue for the best of times and a place to coordinate during the worst of times.

The Community Center and Emergency Operations Center, which was funded by a $1.5 million federal allocation pushed for by U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, is designed to be a community space for events like local farmers markets as well as a space to serve as an emergency coordination center during the event of a disaster in the region.

According to Carnation’s City Manager, Ana Cortez, the 4200-square-foot facility will have two floors and will include office space for 6-9 municipal employees that currently do not have office space at City Hall.

The Community Center and Emergency Operations Center will be built across from Carnation City Hall at 4621 Tolt Avenue.

The current designs for the building include windowed walls that roll up during Summer-time events, a ramp to access the second floor, public bathrooms and a place for visitors to hitch horses to.

“This is not just a building, not just a facility,” Cortez said. “It is the heart of [the community].”

Cortez said the project still has to go through a permitting process, but the current design is expected to be about 90 percent accurate to what the finished building will be. She said construction for the project is expected to begin in April of 2023.

Emergency Manager for Eastside Fire & Rescue, Andrew Stevens, said the facility will also serve as a coordination center for a multi-agency response during a regional disaster.

Stevens said the area is becoming more susceptible to climate-driven disasters such as wildfires and flooding, with “100-year floods” occurring more frequently than ever.

Carnation’s Deputy Mayor, Jim Ribail, also said the facility could serve as either a heating or cooling center during difficult weather conditions and did not rule out the possibility of using the facility as emergency shelter if need be.