Mercer Island Center for the Arts Takes Next Step Towards Lease Approval with City of Mercer Island

Mercer Island Center for the Arts (MICA) completed and submitted the “Responses to Citizens’ Questions to the SEPA Checklist Submission” to fulfill the third step of the mandatory State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) on Wednesday, January 18. SEPA reviews are part of the process for the City to approve new development projects, specifically focused on possible environmental impact. The City of Mercer Island received 26 letters and emails from community members responding to MICA’s SEPA submission.

The proposed arts center would be located in the northwest corner of Mercerdale Park, near the intersection of 77th Avenue SE and SE 32nd Street, on the site of the abandoned recycling center. The site includes a concrete plaza and flagpole (Bicentennial Park), the recycle storage building, public bathrooms, sinks and storage for the Farmers Market, asphalt paving, and an unmaintained wooded area in poor health.

MICA’s SEPA submission includes, among many other things, a traffic impact analysis; identification of adequate parking to meet city code; wetland delineation, geotechnical reports; slope stability review; and tree assessment.

“MICA compiled its SEPA submission working with independent experts in areas including parking, environmental studies, and transportation,” said Bruce Lorig, MICA Board member and chairman of its Building Committee. “We look forward to continued collaboration with the City and City Council to complete the SEPA review and move to the next step in bringing the MICA facility to life for our community.”

MICA is committed to environmental stewardship. Its site design includes enhancements to the environmental value of the portion of the site not used for the building and plazas - areas now seriously degraded and partially paved. The building will be designed to LEED Silver standards. Proposed green measures include water efficient landscaping, use of native plants, wetland restoration, and energy efficient mechanical systems and commissioning. MICA’s cultural activities will bring the community to Mercerdale Park to enjoy the arts in a natural setting, encouraging park use and appreciation.

Mercer Island Center for the Arts is a Washington State nonprofit corporation and registered 501(c)3 organization formed to promote arts performance, exhibition and education on Mercer Island. For more information, please visit www.mercerislandarts.org/faq or visit the MICA office at 7710 SE 29th Street, Mercer Island.