Longtime Valley nonprofit Encompass in underway on their next big project, the construction of an all new facility in Snoqualmie.
The organization is planning to construct a facility for their child care services on the honey farm property, located on the corner of 384th Avenue Southeast, and Southeast Kimball Creek Drive in Snoqualmie, which they purchased in 2017.
Nela Cumming, executive director of Encompass, said the organization has been struggling with the growth of the population in the Valley and the expansion of their programs while still in their current North Bend location. Encompass, based out of their early learning center in North Bend, also rents space for a pediatric clinic in the city and runs a preschool in Carnation. The new facility would be their first location in Snoqualmie.
To keep up with the growth of the Valley and the group’s desire to expand their programming to meet that growth, the Encompass Board of Directors decided to launch a feasibility study in 2016 to look at what kind of facility they would need, how much that would cost, and if they would be able to raise that amount of money.
One year later, in March 2017, the board moved forward with the plan to expand and began looking at property in Snoqualmie. The honey farm location was perfect, Cumming said, but it was already tied up in other offers. Eventually the offers made on that property fell through and in November 2017, Encompass closed on the property for $650,000.
Once it was purchased, their architect began working on the designs for a new facility. Cumming said the new building will be around 15,000 to 16,000 square feet that will be home to all of the services that Encompass already provides, while also moving all of the administrative staff to the new space.
“Everything that Encompass offers, but under one roof,” Cumming said. “We will keep the North Bend Early Learning Center, it will allow us to make some badly needed upgrades there and allow us to expand our preschool there.”
She explained that while they already provide many services at their current location, having a dedicated space built from the ground up for the purpose of providing services for children will allow Encompass to provide better care for more people.
“With pediatric therapy in particular we are renting space over by Bartell’s, the space we are renting is a great location, it’s great space, but it’s not designed to be a pediatric clinic. This building will be designed by the therapists to enhance the therapy,” Cumming said. “We have a building that’s designed around kids with special needs, has the equipment we need for children in occupational therapy, sensitive to noise and light, trauma informed design … We want that for our Valley, for our community, we want kids to get that level of quality because they deserve it.”
On April 21, demolition crews came to the property to take down the old farm house, which was built in 1989. The Honey Farm was severely damaged by a fire in 2005, Cumming said, and because of that the structure is too damaged to be reused.
The demolition took several days because Encompass will be recycling the materials used in the house for the new property. Cumming said that one of the nonprofit’s goals is for the new building to be certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, an internationally recognized “green building” program. Recycling many of the old materials on the property is one big step for certification.
“Even the concrete foundation is being crushed up and reused on the site,” she said.
Currently, Encompass plans for the project to break ground in the summer of 2019 and projects that the organization would move in during fall 2020.
“It’s incredibly exciting, I feel really energized about it,” Cumming said. “Our board is willing to take the risk, it’s a risk doing this, but we know its the right thing for our community. It’s something I think about every single day, how we are going to make this happen.”