Keys to the Future: The Campaign for Music Center
Music Center is getting a permanent home! We're raising $2 million to purchase and improve our current facility in Seattle. We're asking for your help to raise $10,000 by the end of 2018.
In our 23 years as tenants in the Oak Lake Baptist Church building at 96th Street and Linden Avenue, we have gradually made incremental improvements necessary to accommodate a growing range of lessons and ensembles. Ownership of the building will now anchor Music Center’s mission of providing access to exceptional musical experiences for people of all ages and abilities, now and for years to come. Ownership will also enable additional needed improvements to optimize space and programming. With the money that would have been spent on rent, we will now have $60,000 to reinvest in our mission.
Music Center is committed to making exceptional musical experience available to everyone in our community, regardless of financial means.
Why did Music Center of the Northwest decide to buy the building it has resided in for two decades?
The Oak Lake Baptist Church no longer exists as a congregation and therefore was not in the position to be landlord. The lease agreement with the Church expires at the end of August 2019, thus the Church could not renew the lease agreement. Over the many years, Music Center’s mission has resonated with Oak Lake Baptist so after a number of meetings, it was agreed that Oak Lake would sell the building at favorable terms to Music Center rather than sell it to others.
What are the favorable terms from Oak Lake Baptist Church?
We’ve agreed to purchase the building for $1.5 million cash, closing at the end of August 2019.
Could Music Center have instead found a new location to rent, rather than purchase the building?
The Board of Directors, working with the Executive Director, looked at what was available to lease, and nothing remotely affordable was available that would provide a performing hall space, music studios, and parking. This reality reinforced not only the rationale to purchase the building, but also affirmed the favorable terms negotiated with Oak Lake Baptist.
What about purchasing a different building?
Efforts were made to explore all options, including partnering with other non-profits and sharing facilities. None of those options presented themselves as more favorable versus acquiring our current building.
What about the improvements, and why is the capital campaign targeting $2 million rather than $1.5 million?
As long term tenants, we have become overly aware of major deficiencies in our building. The largest include an unreliable furnace, lack of insulation, inadequate soundproofing, inefficient windows, and wiring and plumbing problems. Like any property owner, we need to replace aging systems and inefficiencies.
I’ve just heard about the acquisition and wondered if Music Center has carefully planned out the purchase?
The Board of Directors has had a desire to have a permanent location at least as far back as 2001, when the Strategic Plan specifically called for it. It was affirmed repeatedly that this was our goal, including by our current board. We have hired professional consultants who are experienced in these matters and carefully cultivated key supporters to affirm that we will be successful. Before going public we secured multi-year pledges from key donors, applied for and were accepted as a recipient of State of Washington Funding (Building for the Arts), applied for foundations and other grants, and made certain that our bank would support the acquisition.
Music Center of the Northwest is a non-profit community music school located in North Seattle. We believe in the transformative power of music in the lives of people and our community. With a commitment to music education and live performance, Music Center provides access to exceptional musical experiences for people of all ages and abilities.