Governor's Smart Communities Award

The Governor’s Smart Communities Award recognizes achievements by local leaders who promote smart growth planning and projects that contribute to thriving communities, a prosperous economy and sustainable infrastructure in Washington State.

2018 - Sartori Elementary School

City of Renton SealCITY OF RENTON
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 9, 2018

City of Renton Contacts
Chip Vincent, Community & Economic Development Administrator, 425-430-6588
Preeti Shridhar, Deputy Public Affairs Administrator, 425-430-6569

City of Renton wins two state planning awards
Awards recognize work by city staff to create a high quality community

RENTON, WA -- The City of Renton has won two state awards for civic planning projects: a seventh consecutive Governor’s Smart Communities Award for the Sartori Elementary School project and an Outstanding Contributions for Comprehensive Planning Award for the downtown Civic Core plan.

Smart Communities Award“These awards are a testament to the vision our staff has for transforming Renton’s downtown into a vibrant urban area and for their hard work in bringing these plans to fruition,” said Mayor Denis Law. “We are very much on our way to achieving our goal of an urban downtown Renton where people come to live, work, learn, play and visit.”

The city and Renton School District were honored with Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s Smart Communities Award for the thorough design and public input process conducted as part of the Sartori Elementary School project in downtown Renton. The project aligns with both the city’s 2011 City Center Master Plan and 2015 Renton Comprehensive Plan.

The school design and concept will serve as a model for campus development in an urban setting. Its vertical design creates open space for students and allows the site to host community events during non-school hours. The one-square block site houses a three-story classroom building, hard and soft surface play areas, grass playfield, extensive landscaping, and parking for approximately 80 cars.

There is a 900-square-foot multipurpose resource room, which the public can use for adult classes and community gatherings, and a 10,000-square-foot exterior plaza. The plaza is designed to be the heart of the campus and host community programming.

Scheduled to open this fall, the school will initially serve 650 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. It is designed to meet the district’s 10-year growth projections and is the first elementary school built in downtown Renton in almost a century.

“The Sartori project will have a significant positive impact on the downtown area,” said Mayor Law. “It’s a prime example of how to turn an under-used area into a valuable community asset.”

“The Sartori design builds upon the image of Renton as a truly urban mixed-use and walkable environment that contributes to livability in the heart of the city,” said John Flanagan, Transportation and Economic Development advisor to Gov. Inslee, and member of the review committee. “It contains all the attributes that help our state attract top talent and businesses from around the world.”

Renton is the first community in Washington to win seven Smart Communities Awards and also the first to win seven consecutively, in competition with cities throughout the state. The city was previously honored for the Galvanizing Art Projects program (2017), Downtown Renton Library remodel (2016), Kirkland Avenue Townhomes Project (2015), Meadow Crest Early Learning Center and Meadow Crest Accessible Playground (2014), Sunset Area Community Plan (2013), City Center Community Plan and 20-Year Parks Plan (2012).

The Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association and the Planning Association of Washington honored the city with their Outstanding Contributions for Comprehensive Planning award for their work on the Downtown Civic Core Vision and Action Plan.

“The Civic Core Vision and Action Plan is about the future, and our desire to create excitement and energy,” said Mayor Law. “It builds on what’s already happening in the community and strengthens the bonds between organizations that will make it happen. What’s really special is this award reflects the effort of many members of our community who were involved in the visioning process.”

The plan is the city’s innovative response to the request for a community-supported vision that builds upon Downtown Renton’s many existing assets. The city utilized an extensive community input process, including a range of interactive in-person and online events. The result is an integrated approach designed to leverage existing projects with community energy to create dynamic spaces for people to gather, safe streets for all modes of transportation, and a bustling business environment.

“The awards committee was impressed with a number of parts of the plan,” said committee chairman Lloyd Skinner. “It integrated community values, addressed the use of public spaces and transportation, celebrated Renton’s racial diversity, and utilized input from the community. It definitely rose to the top of our most competitive division (communities with populations over 50,000).”

Caption
Mayor Denis Law and Renton School Board Director Dr. Avanti Bergquist hold the awards the city won for work on two community and economic development projects. Also in the photo are Renton Schools Superintendent Dr. Damien Pattenaude and Sartori Elementary School Principal Angela Sheffey-Bogan (on either side of Dr. Bergquist), Renton School Board Director Alisa Louie (on Dr. Pattenaude’s right), John Flanagan, Transportation and Economic Development advisor to Gov. Jay Inslee (behind Dr. Pattenaude), and Lloyd Skinner, APA Washington Awards Committee Co-Chair (front row, far left).

About the City of Renton
The City of Renton, Washington, with a population of 102,700 (2017), is located on the southeast shore of Lake Washington, just south of Seattle. Renton's strong economic base, diverse marketplace and favorable business climate have attracted the attention of nationally recognized companies that are providing employees and their families an outstanding quality of life. Renton is the home of Boeing, PACCAR, IKEA, the Seattle Seahawks, and the eternal resting place of Jimi Hendrix. More information can be found on our website, or Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor pages.

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2017 - Galvanizing Art Project

City of Renton SealCITY OF RENTON
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2017

City of Renton Contacts
Chip Vincent, Community & Economic Development Administrator, 425-430-6588
Preeti Shridhar, Deputy Public Affairs Administrator, 425-430-6569

City of Renton wins sixth consecutive Governor’s Smart Communities Award
Galvanizing Art Projects program turns unused spaces into eye-catching works of art

RENTON, WA - The City of Renton’s Galvanizing Art Projects program (GAP), an innovative method of creating locally made public art, has been awarded a 2017 Governor’s Smart Communities Award by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. This is the sixth year in a row Renton has earned a Smart Communities Award.

Smart Communities Award“This Galvanizing Art Projects program has helped transform our community by turning unused spaces and walls into eye-catching works of art. The program has also positioned Renton as a destination for artists, arts and culture,” said Mayor Denis Law.

Administered by the Renton Municipal Arts Commission (RMAC), a citizen volunteer group, the program is funded with $10,000 from the city’s general fund. The RMAC commissions local artists of all ages to create public art that reflects Renton’s heritage while aligning with both the city’s Arts & Culture Master Plan and Comprehensive Plan.

Some of the Galvanizing Art Projects funded by the RMAC include the Williams Avenue “Muybridge” project, a tribute to Renton’s horse racing past at Longacres, the art garden on the east entrance to the downtown post office, and the west side of the Cortona Building downtown.

The program helps celebrates Renton’s cultural diversity by weaving art into the fabric of the city and has also inspired community dialogue. The artwork has led to an increase in private investments, attracted tourists to the city, and expanded cultural experiences for Renton residents.

“Funding for public art is often sacrificed as city budgets are squeezed,” explained Mayor Law. “We’ve found the GAP program to be an innovative model that has increased public art, invigorated public spaces and given the city a cultural identity, while at the same time supporting local artists.”

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The Governor’s Smart Communities Award
The Governor’s Smart Communities Award recognizes achievements by local leaders who promote smart growth planning and projects that contribute to thriving communities, a prosperous economy and sustainable infrastructure in Washington State. The award has been given annually since 2006. Only nine Washington cities were honored in 2017.

About the City of Renton
The City of Renton, Washington, with a population of 101,300 (2016), is located on the southeast shore of Lake Washington, just south of Seattle. Renton's strong economic base, diverse marketplace and favorable business climate have attracted the attention of nationally recognized companies that are providing employees and their families an outstanding quality of life. Renton is the home of Boeing, PACCAR, IKEA, the Seattle Seahawks, and the eternal resting place of Jimi Hendrix. More information can be found on our website, or Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor pages.

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2016 - Downtown Renton Library

City of Renton SealCITY OF RENTON
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2016

City of Renton Contacts
Chip Vincent, Community & Economic Development Administrator, 425-430-6588
Preeti Shridhar, Deputy Public Affairs Administrator, 425-430-6569

Renton’s Unique “Library Over The River” Wins Governor’s Smart Communities Award

Renton, WA – The downtown Renton library, already revered for its unique design that spans the Cedar River, is a 2016 recipient of the Governor’s Smart Communities Award by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

Smart Communities AwardThe award recognizes the partnership between the City of Renton and the King County Library System (KCLS). The two entities worked together to completely refurbish the library’s interior and exterior, while maintaining the integrity of the river and surrounding area.

“This award is a reflection of the considerable work by our citizens and city staff,” said Renton Mayor Denis Law. “They successfully juggled our growth management requirements with the site’s uniqueness challenges. The result is a first class library that will benefit our community for years to come.”

Gary Wasdin, Director of the King County Library System, added "KCLS was pleased to partner with the City of Renton on this exciting project. The beautiful Renton Library, affectionately known as the 'library over the river' is a welcoming community resource and a genuine treasure for the citizens of Renton.”

The Governor’s Award is the second honor in 2016 for the local landmark. In April, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Library Association (ALA) awarded it one of seven Library Building Awards.

This is the fifth consecutive year the City of Renton has won a Smart Communities Award.

The Governor’s Smart Communities Award
The Governor’s Smart Communities Award recognizes outstanding efforts of counties, cities and towns, and their partners throughout the state to create quality communities through achieving the goals of the Growth Management Act and other community development objectives. The award has been given annually since 2006. Only seven Washington cities were honored in 2016.

Judges’ Comments
In announcing the award, the judges praised the uniqueness of the library’s location, the effectiveness of the design and the strong partnership between the city and the KCLS, which brought the whole project together.

Some of their comments included:

“The original concept of the library as a bridge is very powerful, yet it feels as if it took this redesign for the library to fully reach its potential… this iconic location now connects the downtown district to the city park, bringing life and activity to the spaces within and around the library … the project impressively was able to effect a major renovation without disrupting the habitat and hydraulics of the river below … this project/partnership is thoroughly impressive … being able to retain the original location and use while being sensitive to environmental and energy concerns—remarkable! … great use of focus groups to get opinions of diverse groups, online survey, and library advisory board … what a gorgeous structure!”

Project History

Based on the use the library had received since opening in 1966, it was proposed to relocate to a larger downtown building. After some spirited debate, the decision was made to keep it across the Cedar River. The building underwent a complete renovation of both its’ interior and exterior, essentially creating a new library around the structural core. The renovation work took 15 months with the grand re-opening on August 22, 2015.

The city provided the funding for the architectural, engineering, and landscape design of the new building; supervised the permitting process; and provided construction and project management.

KCLS worked with the architectural, engineering and landscape architectural team to provide the exterior and interior building and programming design. They also provided new computers, printers, electronic systems, new collection materials, furniture and artwork.

The total cost of the project was $11.8 million, with $10.2 million from the city and $1.6 million from KCLS.

About the City of Renton
The City of Renton, Washington is located on the southeast shore of Lake Washington with a population just over 100,000. Renton's strong economic base, diverse marketplace and favorable business climate have attracted the attention of nationally recognized companies that are looking to provide employees and their families with an outstanding quality of life. It is the home of Boeing, IKEA, the Seattle Seahawks, and the eternal resting place of Jimi Hendrix. More information can be found at rentonwa.gov.

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2015 - Kirkland Avenue Townhomes

City of Renton SealCITY OF RENTON
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2015

City of Renton Contacts
Chip Vincent, Community & Economic Development Administrator, 425-430-6588
Preeti Shridhar, Deputy Public Affairs Administrator, 425-430-6569
Mark Gropper, Executive Director, Renton Housing Authority, 425-226-1850, ext. 223

Renton Receive 2015 Governor’s Smart Communities Award
Unique Kirkland Avenue Townhomes Project Earns City Prestigious Award

RENTON: For an unprecedented fourth year, the City of Renton has been awarded the Governor’s Smart Communities Award. The 2015 award was presented on June 26, at the Association of Washington Cities conference in Wenatchee in the Judges Merit category for the Kirkland Avenue Townhomes. This project is a collaboration between the City of Renton and the Renton Housing Authority (RHA).

Smart Communities Award“We are honored to receive this prestigious award for a fourth consecutive year and to be recognized for the state-of-the-art Kirkland Avenue Townhomes,” said Mayor Denis Law. “This award is a well-deserved recognition of the hard work and innovation of all our partners and a testament to what is possible through public private partnerships."

The Kirkland Avenue Townhomes is the first publicly funded, affordable, multi-family modular construction project in Western Washington. The townhomes are part of the city’s Sunset Area Community Revitalization effort and provide housing for veterans and one-for-one, low-income replacement housing as part of the RHA’s Sunset Terrace Redevelopment. The 18-unit Kirkland Avenue Townhomes project provides sixteen Section 8 Housing Choice vouchers and two VASH vouchers to ensure that the eighteen housing units are affordable.

In announcing this year’s awards, Governor Inslee said, “These forward-thinking projects help create and sustain a thriving economic climate and strengthen our ability to lead in the global economy. Washington is a great state in which to live, work and play, thanks to visionary leadership in our local communities such as those we celebrate today.”

Besides funding from RHA and the City of Renton, additional support was received from the Washington State Housing Trust, the King County Housing Finance Program, and the Washington Community Reinvestment Association. In addition to funding, the City of Renton also waived building permit and system development charges and mitigation fees to support the construction of the project. Multiple funding sources are typically necessary to support affordable housing projects but this project received the most local funding to date from RHA and the city for any project of this type built in Renton.

The Kirkland Avenue Townhomes development team included: RHA, developer; Shelter Resources Inc., development consultant; Schemata Workshop, Inc., architect; SvR Design, civil engineer/landscape architect; Pavilion Construction, primary contractor; Champion Homes, modular sub-contractor; and Inslee Best Doezie & Ryder, PS, legal counsel.

“The City of Renton is doing a wonderful job of investing time and energy into the future of the Highlands neighborhood, and the completion of the recently opened Kirkland Avenue Townhomes is emblematic of the type of housing we envisioned for the Sunset Area,” said Mark Gropper, Executive Director of the Renton Housing Authority.

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2014 - Meadow Crest Early Learning Center and Meadow Crest Accessible Playground

City of Renton SealCITY OF RENTON
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 10, 2014

City of Renton Contacts
Preeti Shridhar, Deputy Public Affairs Administrator, 425-430-6569

City of Renton and Renton School District Receive Governor’s 2014 Smart Communities Award

RENTON: On June 20, at the Association of Washington Cities annual conference in Spokane, Governor Jay Inslee will present the 2014 Smart Communities Award to the City of Renton and the Renton School District for the Meadow Crest Early Learning Center and Meadow Crest Accessible Playground. This is the third year in a row that the city has received this prestigious recognition and award.

Smart Communities AwardThe Meadow Crest Early Learning Center and Meadow Crest Accessible Playground are components of the “Sunset Area Community Reinvestment Strategy,” one of the priorities for the city. Part of a collaborative effort between the City of Renton, Renton School District, Renton Housing Authority, Neighborhood House, Renton Technical College and private sector partners, the redevelopment includes the learning center and accessible playground, replacement of public housing units, development of market-rate housing, a new library, new parks, nutrition and health care services, educational opportunities, job training and enhanced public safety programs.

“This award is a testament to the greatness of this project—one that brings a unique opportunity for children along with affordable housing, jobs, learning and recreation opportunities to the Sunset area in the Highlands,” said Mayor Denis Law. “This project completely transforms sub-standard housing and a previously neglected neighborhood, and shows the tremendous opportunity the Sunset area has to offer. I want to thank the Renton School District and each one of our partners who have helped move this forward.”

The new community-accessible playground has been designed for all ages and all abilities to encourage imagination and interaction. There are large outdoor musical instruments, spaces to run, a stage and areas to be alone. All activities provide opportunities for youth of all abilities and different generations to play and learn together. It is built on land owned by the city and school district and funded by public and nonprofit partners. The unique partnership and close working relationship between the district and the city has created a bond that has thrived for more than a decade. Working together to market Renton as a destination to live, learn, work, and play has created an economic climate that has attracted many business and families to Renton.

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2013 - Sunset Area Community Plan

Smart Communities Award

2012 - City Center Community Plan and its 20-year Parks Plan

Smart Communities Award

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