Anyone who knows and loves Girl Scouts, knows that the heart of what this organization wants is quite simple. We want to inspire girls to dream big, face their fears, rise above challenges, learn new skills and grow in ways they never imagined so that they can go out and change the world. At Girl Scouts of Western Washington, we want this to happen for EVERY girl, and we strive, every day, to bring Girl Scouting to as many girls as possible across the 17 counties we serve.
Doing this isn’t always easy, as our communities grow and change in ways we couldn’t have anticipated years ago when we built a presence there. Our regional offices are the best example of what it means to grow and change with our surroundings. First and foremost, we need to be where the girls are.
Many of you have seen us doing just that over the last four years, with our regional offices. Through member surveys, community mapping and other data, we have sought to determine where girls and families, as well as volunteers, are, so that we can provide equitable access to opportunities our council.
- In April 2017 we moved our headquarters from the most congested area of South Lake Union to a more accessible building in Georgetown in proximity to Rainier Beach, South Seattle and West Seattle in order to serve our membership and staff better.
- In September 2017 we placed the DuPont Program Center on the market in order to relocate to a program center further north and one south to provide easier access to membership for program and retail store needs. Our objective will be to move out and away from the I-5 JBLM traffic snarl closer to where our membership and community maps say our girls and their families reside.
- This summer we are opening our newest satellite program center and retail store in Longview to serve the southern-most counties in our council.
Our next strategic step is to relocate our Bellevue office from the transitioning BelRed-520 Eastside corridor to a location that better suits our membership. We have received a letter of intent and the Executive Committee of our Board of Directors has approved a move forward to sell the building in order to move to one or two more accessible locations.
Why Bellevue: The renovation of the area surrounding our current office with East/West boundaries from 148th St to I-405 and North/South boundaries from SR-520 and Bell-Red Rd will be a transit-oriented development, with mixed use commercial/residential, high-density housing connected by the Light Rail transportation system to downtown Bellevue and Seattle via I-90. The area will have a similar feel to the South Lake Union – commercial, tech-work transformation. This area is unfortunately not our demographic of family neighborhoods.
The letter of intent has been brought to us by a multi-generational Girl Scout family with a local Bellevue business. We are excited to keep the building in the family!
Where will we go? This will be determined by our membership survey and the community mapping for our current and potential membership. Our hope will be to find one or more flexible spaces with an attached retail store to suit our membership and staff.
In the coming weeks we will work through the terms of the Purchase and Sale agreement. If all goes well we will close a sale in October 2019, but we will continue to stay in the building until we find the perfect location for our girls, their families and our volunteers.
What’s next? We’ll be emailing all members an input survey in the coming days, but you can also feel free to email us any questions at BellevueMove@girlscoutsww.org.
Thank you for caring about where our girls are, and how they’re served, as much as we do!
Chief Financial Officer
Girl Scouts of Western Washington