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Mukilteo begins demolishing Rosehill center

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MUKILTEO — Demolition has begun on the Rosehill Community Center, a venerable landmark whose roots date back to 1928, and whose future was debated for years.
A new $12.9 million community center being built next to Rosehill will open Feb. 7.
Demolition on the old building began Friday and will continue for about three weeks, said Jim Niggemyer, assistant city engineer.
“Getting everything cleaned up and hauled off may be longer,” he said.
Although the city had said the building would be torn down before the end of the year, an exact date was not announced.
“We didn’t want a big crowd there,” he said. “We had our farewell ceremony several weeks ago.”
In addition, asbestos had to be removed from the building’s roof. “Until right at the end, we didn’t have a good date” for when demolition would begin, Niggemyer said.
As part of the farewell, parts from the building were offered for sale. Doors and hand rails were snapped up, Niggemyer said.
A historic project also was launched. People were invited to share their memories of the building, which was a school until it was turned over to the city in 1977.
The building flowered in its new life, as a community center offering art and recreation classes.
Those memories were taped for a video called “Rosehill Farewell: It’s the People,” which is posted on the city’s website.
“I think it’s always a tragedy that historic landmarks pass away,” Dr. Sanford Wright, a graduate of Rosehill School, said Monday. “I guess I would say that progress is often painful but it can be worthwhile in the end.”
Wright attended the school when he was growing up. His mother organized PTA fun nights that included the Rosehill Rosebuds dance act. Participants included the school’s principal, superintendent and other well-known people from Everett and Mukilteo, Wright said.
Wright credited Mayor Joe Marine with helping initiate the oral history project.
“He’s probably one of the few mayors in the state of Washington with that kind of vision. I applaud him for that,” he said.
Parts of the old building will live on. A portion of its gym floor was saved and will be used as the floor in two rooms in the new building, Niggemyer said.
The entry door from the Lincoln Avenue side of the building is being preserved and will be used as part of the entry into a plaza, which is part of the project.
An open house for the new building has been scheduled for 1-5 p.m. Feb 5. The building will officially open Feb. 7, and will offer a variety of classes, including dance, yoga, jazzercise and arts, said Jennifer Berner, the city’s recreational and cultural services manager.
Men’s basketball and adult volleyball programs, which were scheduled at the old Rosehill building, will be held at the nearby Boys & Girls Club, she said.
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; salyer@heraldnet.com .
Story tags » Historical SitesMukilteo

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