Education & Innovation Center Outreach Project

Education & Innovation Center 

EIC LocationIn recent years, the City of Yelm has made major investments in public open spaces and civic buildings, including at the City Park and Community Center, the acquisition and renovation of the new City Hall, Yelm City Park Master Plan, and the Downtown Corridor Strategy.

As part of the City Hall acquisition in 2018, the City of Yelm purchased approximately 18,000 square feet of vacant land directly southeast of where City Hall now sits. The site address is 212 Washington Ave SE, Yelm, 98597. 

Through strong community support within the Downtown Corridor Strategy and advanced planning in the acquisition of the parcels adjacent to City Hall, the City’s goal is to provide a space for community learning, economic development resources, and the Timberland Public Library.

This project will serve the Yelm community as a whole. As a result, people tend to have a lot of interest, big ideas, and strong opinions when it comes to project design and function. A successful engagement process harnesses that energy and inspires community ownership, while adapting to new insights and feedback. Stakeholders and community members supply the local knowledge, context, and information necessary to make informed project decisions. Early and often engagement of the residents and businesses who regularly operate and patron downtown Yelm will be a key factor in the success of this project. This starts with the Public Participation Plan where we identify steps to ensure project transparency, open communication and multiple opportunities for feedback and collaboration. Please see the results of the initial open houses, stakeholder interviews, and community surveys here

For questions regarding this project please contact the Planning and Building Manager, London Hawes, at 

eic timeline
Virtual Public Workshop: As this site sits just south of a major transportation corridor within Thurston County, thousands of travelers and goods are funneled through this section of the City on a daily basis. It is important that experiences and expectations of these travelers are reflected in the decisions and outcomes of this project. 

  • Outcome: After this phase of outreach has concluded, submitted comments will be reviewed for similarities and new perspectives that can better inform and drive project tasks. Project alternatives and opportunities will then be evaluated based on community input and support.
Project Specific Webpage: In support of these outreach efforts, this project specific webpage will be maintained as the primary information hub for updates, ongoing efforts, and project milestones.

  • Outcome: The webpage will ensure transparency throughout the project; providing timely updates; open communication channels, project milestones, and an opportunity to join the mailing list.
Key Stakeholder Outreach/Informational Interviews: Multiple agencies will depend on the success of this site for their daily activities. These agencies have a unique understanding of current conditions within Yelm and the needs that exist within the City. Target stakeholders within this phase include South Puget Sound Community College, Department of Veterans Affairs, Yelm Chamber, Yelm Community Schools, and others. 

  • Outcome: Once this phase of outreach has been completed, a summary document of frequently asked questions will be made available to the greater public via the project page. The summary document can be downloaded here
Open House: Following the insights and ideas gathered throughout this process, a preliminary design will be developed for the site. An open house was held in-person on October 13th from 4-7PM at the Yelm Community Center, 301 2nd St SE, Yelm, WA 98597. A virtual open house was conducted over Zoom on October 14th from 4-7PM. 

  • Outcome: The project team will use the collected input to refine the project into a final design.
City Council Briefings: To ensure the project is reflective of City goals and community insights, Councilmembers will receive updates on project findings, milestones, and alternatives.

  • Outcome: The intent of this phase is to ensure Councilmembers are well informed and have multiple opportunities to provide targeted guidance to the project leads.