Frequently Asked Questions

Why has the City of Lakewood entered into a public-private partnership with Partners for Parks for the H-Barn Project at Fort Steilacoom Park (FSP)?

The CITY has been discussing this project for many years.  Summary includes:

  • 1996-2017 …  citizens, service clubs and park visitors have requested access to the barns for community use, dances, public festivals, events and historic preservation. (The barns are currently used for storge, and do not meet current international building codes for general assembly)
  • 2008 … the CITY conducted a study to determine the best use of the historical barns located at FSP; and in addition, the H-Barn was determined the most logical to renovate based upon structural integrity, adjacent parking, and usable square footage for a variety of uses.
  • 2017 … the Board of Directors of Partners for Parks determined that supporting the renovation of a barn at FSP would be a valuable asset for the CITY and included that as a strategic goal for the organization.
  • 2017-2021 …a stakeholder group was created and a project plan was developed that included a look at building designs, historic preservation limitations, site improvements, permit requirements and cost estimates.
  • 2018-2022 … Partners for Parks presented their plan and due diligence to the CITY and were encouraged to move forward with developing options for renovating the H-Barn Complex.  In 2021 a feasibility study was conducted to test the appeal and viability of a public-private partnership to generate the revenue required to fund the H-Barn renovation project.
  • Spring of 2022 …the CITY enters into a public-private partnership with Partners for Parks, with a project or working goal of $7.5 million (est. $4M in public funding commitments and $3.5M in private sector funding).  

What does this Project hope to accomplish and how much will it cost?

This Project seeks the community engagement of community leaders including public officials and private citizens in support of the historical preservation, restoration and renovation of the H-Barn Complex at Fort Steilacoom Park.

The working goal and estimated project cost is $7.5 million dollars.

Why is the community being asked to financially support this project when the City of Lakewood owns the property and the facility?

This question was fully vetted among all those surveyed and interviewed during a five-month feasibility study, funded in 2021 by Partners for Parks and the City of Lakewood.  The question asked was: “what strategy has the greatest appeal and likelihood of success for raising the funds needed for the H-Barn Project?”

Respondents were significantly favorable (87.88%) in their opinion that a public-private partnership has the greatest community appeal and likelihood of success for raising the funds needed to support the H-Barn renovation project.

Why was this particular barn the one chosen for renovation?

In 2008/2009, a study was conducted and the H-Barn Complex was identified as the best option for rehabilitation, of all the FSP barns, based upon structural integrity, adjacent parking, and usable square footage for a variety of uses.

The large open floor plan and the “H” like shape were considered optimal for hosting large events; and make it possible to section off different spaces, when needed or requested.  There were also utilities running into the park, with plans to extend them down Angle Lane to the H-Barn.

What is it about this project that makes it appealing for the community? 

Rehabilitation of the H-Barn Complex would not only preserve this iconic structure, but would also provide the community a needed, dynamic indoor gathering space that could host a wide variety of local and regional events.  

Over the years, public meetings, community forums and studies have revealed a variety of future use functions and features desired by the public at large.

Why is Partners for Parks conducting a private campaign effort, how much are they trying to raise and who will lead this effort?

The feasibility study conducted in 2021 explored several funding options for this H-Barn Project, including: 1) public source (funding) ONLY; 2) private source (funding) ONLY; or 3) a public-private (funding) option.  The results were overwhelming in favor of a public-private option, assuming Partners for Parks had the organizational capacity to lead such an effort within the private sector.

The fundraising goal from the private sector is $3.5 million dollars.  This includes anticipated funding from a variety of private sources: individuals, businesses and corporations, civic, fraternal and military organizations, as well as foundations.

The Board of Directors of Partners for Parks will be implementing a Plan of Campaign, supported by an expert consulting team and a Legacy Task Force of community leaders to provide campaign leadership, oversight and guidance.

Is the Board of Directors for Partners for Parks 100% committed?

Before others are asked to join this legacy project, and notable fundraising effort, ALL current and former board members of Partners for Parks will be asked to participate in the H-Barn Campaign at a level commensurate with their ability.

The Board Division of this campaign effort will be implemented during the Quiet Phase and is a three-month outreach effort from Oct. 1- Dec. 31, 2022.

How will the community be approached and will there be opportunities to get involved and participate as a volunteer?

Partners for Parks has prepared a Plan of Campaign, which will serve as a blueprint; and relies upon the participation of key volunteers and community leaders.  All interested volunteers will be invited to follow the plan of campaign and participate according to a master schedule, based upon the principle “one step at a time.”

The selective method of prospect identification and solicitation will be the primary fundraising approach.  Most fundraising appeals for the H-Barn Project will be made to prospective donors who have the financial ability, a relationship to this project and are also accessible to campaign volunteers, for them to tell the story and ASK.

Significant individuals capable of making major gifts will respond most positively when approached by volunteer leaders and peers they know and or respect.  

Nonetheless, all donations are gratefully received and deeply appreciated.

What is the timeline for raising the money needed?

The H-Barn Campaign will extend over a 36-month period of intensive activity, beginning April 1, 2022 and extending through March 2025.

Will there be phases to the campaign, and if so, what are they?

The capital campaign for the H-Barn Project will be carried out in three phases, that will extend over 36-months and can be summarized briefly as follows:

  • INTERNAL CAMPAIGN - Quiet Phase / getting ready (9 months)
  • EXTERNAL CAMPAIGN – Awareness & most solicitations (24 months)
  • PUBLIC CAMP[AIGN – Broad-based, community effort to all (3 months)

Will the campaign accept multi-year pledges? 

Yes, multi-year pledge (3-5 years) are encouraged and enable donors to make more significant investments than might be provided with one-time cash gifts.

Donors are free to choose their own payment method and schedule; whether by check, or credit card, with payments either monthly, quarterly or annually.

Are private contributions to the project tax deductible?

Yes, Partners for Parks is a not-for -profit 501c3 corporation, and as such, all gifts are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Donors interested in making a non-cash gift, such as annuities, stocks or retirement funds, are encouraged to speak with their tax, financial or legal advisors., as these are often an excellent, tax-wise way to make a major gift.

Other options include planned gifts through a will or life insurance policy.

Will there be recognition or naming opportunities for donors?

Naming opportunities are currently under consideration.

Donations at various giving levels will be acknowledged and appropriately recognized, unless the particular donors wishes to remain anonymous. 

Major donors interested in Named or Memorial Gifts Opportunities are encouraged to contact a member of the leadership team or the campaign office. 

How can the community learn more, and how will donors be kept informed of campaign progress?

The H-Barn Project will hold a number of awareness events to acquaint many community leaders and prospective donors with the project, vision and goals.