Alicia Ayars, Community Programs Coordinator, 509.625.6780
Friday, October 6, 2017 at 10:59 a.m.
The East Central Community Center (ECCC) was initially created as a City department in 1979 and was operationally transferred to the non-profit East Central Community Organization (ECCO) in 2012. Spokane’s Community Centers are a cornerstone of the City’s effort to provide critical services in a central location that encourages a sense of community ownership.
The City of Spokane published a Request for Proposal (RFP) on Monday, April 17, 2017. The respondents to the RFP were ECCO, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center (MLK). During the selection process, it was brought to the City Council’s attention that there was a conflict of interest with one of the selection committee members. The City of Spokane, in cooperation with the City Council, established a new selection committee which reached a decision on August 17, 2017, with the intent to award the management of the ECCC to MLK.
The City is conducting contract negotiations with MLK, and will present the final contract for City Council approval at a public hearing on October 16, 2017. ECCO will be maintaining management of the center until the proposed transition date on January 1, 2018. According to ECCO’s Chris Venne, “the staff and Board of the East Central Community Organization are committed to continue our service to the community and maintain the highest level of quality and service in all our programs throughout the term of our contract with the City.”
If the contract is approved, MLK is dedicated to retaining current ECCC staff that are interested in applying for positions within the Community Center as well as current programs at the Center. The MLK will work to hire managers following the negotiation process, and they will also conduct job fairs to hire any further required staff by the completion of the transition of operational management.
The City of Spokane is conducting a comprehensive contract negotiation process as well as ensuring that any resulting transfer of management will be as smooth as possible. The City of Spokane will be working vigorously with all parties involved to maintain services to the East Central Neighborhood. MLK’s Executive Director Freda Gandy is “excited MLK is moving forward with such an exciting opportunity of partnership with the East Central Neighborhood, and is looking forward to continuing and expanding services to the community.”