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To connect and strengthen our community through programs, services and activities that engage, inspire and support people of all ages.
The place community members gather to explore ideas, learn, grow and improve their lives and those of others.
In 1967 the South County Senior Center (SCSC) was founded and began offering programs at the current waterfront location. After obtaining a 501c3 status in 1968 they became the first non-profit senior center in Snohomish County. Four years later, the SCSC was featured at the Second White House Conference as the model for the multipurpose senior center concept which led to the formation of thousands of senior centers throughout the country.
The present waterfront property was purchased in 1972 with a $300,000 HUD grant obtained by SCSC and a $100,000 local match from the City of Edmonds. As a result, the City came to own the property and declared it would be the permanent home of the senior center.The early years saw a number of innovative programs including performing musical and drama groups, the Job Bureau, a robust long-distance travel program, the creation of the Thrift Store and Country Boutique for senior crafts, partnering with Edmonds Community College to offer seniors education classes, a mentoring program at the Edmonds School District, and the creation of many health & wellness activities/services.
From 1975 through 1985 a number of State grants enabled the connection of the two original buildings and the creation of the most recent (now demolished) senior center. Much of the work was performed by community volunteers.
In 2008 SCSC underwent a significant governance change and became a membership driven organization with 18 of 21 Board positions elected by the membership. After a year of political and legal action and debate within the Center and the community, the November 2008 election, monitored by the League of Women Voters and over 600 voters, decisively established this form of organizational structure.
In 2011 the legal name was changed to the Edmonds Senior Center (ESC) and with the passage of the City’s Strategic Action Plan in 2013, the organization began work to replace the existing aging structure with a new Edmonds Waterfront Center designed to serve all ages. Four years later in late October 2017, the Edmonds Senior Center hosted the Waterfront Center Gala, kicking off the $16.35 million community fundraiser campaign needed to replace the 58-year-old building.
The City Council authorized a ground lease agreement in 2019, by which the Edmonds Senior Center will lease the city-owned land under the new Edmonds Waterfront Center for 40 years. At the end of the 40-year lease, the agreement calls for the ESC to either turn over ownership of the Center to the City of Edmonds or renew the lease for an additional 15 years.
The new Edmonds Waterfront Center, a modern, LEED Gold, all-electric, 26,000 sf regional community center is set to open its doors in February 2021 offering programs for all generations. Daily rom 8:00am-4:00pm most of the programs will be aimed at seniors and organized by the ESC. Monday through Thursday 4:00-10:00pm programs for all ages will be offered by the City’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services department. During weekends, the facility offering emphasizes banquet room rentals managed by the ESC.