Mariner Community Campus public meeting on April 13

The vision of what a community center might be for the Mariner area will gain shape at a public meeting on Saturday, April 13, at Mariner High School.

State Sen. Marko Liias at the Mariner Library on Oct. 29, 2018, for the public launch of the Mariner Community Campus project. Launch event gallery Launch event video

The idea for the Mariner Community Campus project began in 2017 when state Sen. Marko Liias, D-Mukilteo, visited the then-recently opened Mariner Library. Since then, Liias, Sno-Isle Libraries officials and a host of community partners have been working toward the vision of a center to improve access to basic needs and resources for residents of the Mariner area.

The April 13 public meeting is the first of two planned to help gather input from community members on what they might want from the project. The second meeting is scheduled for May 11. Both meetings will be from 2-4:30 p.m. in the Mariner High School gym, 200 124th St. SW, Everett.

Translators for Spanish, Russian and Vietnamese speakers will be available along with free childcare and international food snacks.

“Sno-Isle Libraries is committed to partnering with other community services, including a Boys & Girls club and nearby schools, to provide accessible and responsive library services in the area,” said Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Lois Langer Thompson. “We’re excited about how the proposed campus will enhance the Mariner community.”

As part of the community campus vision process, a 10-question survey at marinercommunity.org is also helping to define community characteristics and identity. The survey is offered in eight languages.

“The Mariner Community Campus project is an exciting opportunity to co-create something vital in partnership with the community,” said Sno-Isle Libraries Community Engagement Coordinator Christine Stansfield. “We hope to learn from as many people as we can through this process, especially those who don’t typically see themselves represented in public processes such as this.”

Sno-Isle Libraries is one of a number of stakeholders interested in improving the Mariner community’s access to public and social services. More than 25,000 people live in the area bounded by I-5, 112th Street SW, Highway 99 and 148th Street SW. The area’s population is projected to grow substantially in the next 10 years.

With the nearest libraries in Lynnwood, Mill Creek, and Mukilteo, Sno-Isle Libraries identified a service opportunity and opened the Mariner Library as a demonstration project in a mall storefront in February 2017. More than 80,000 visitors have used the community library since it opened.

Sen. Liias saw more chances to help the area after he saw the community embrace the library.

Liias brought together United Way Snohomish County, Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers, the Mukilteo School District, Sno-lsle Libraries and other groups to talk about a permanent Mariner Community Campus. Those talks and Sen. Liias’ work in the Legislature resulted in a $322,000 allocation from the state’s 2018 Capital Budget to begin shaping the vision for a Mariner Community Campus.

The vision so far is to create an accessible Mariner Community Campus to improve access to basic needs and resources for the Mariner area. The campus would be based on a permanent public-private partnership to:

  • Build a safe and accessible community campus
  • Provide a community benefit meeting the basic needs of all residents
  • Support the Mariner area through integrated and high-quality services and amenities that reinforce healthy families and a strong community

The project’s guiding principles include free and equal access to resources and technology, community opportunities, connection to community, and racial and social equity.