Distinguished Staff Award
The Master Plan Core Team

UW Bothell Cascadia College Campus Master Plan Core Team

Capital Planning & Development, University Architect and UW Bothell
Julie Blakeslee, Kristine Kenney, Kelly Snyder, Amy Van Dyke

Nominated by Ruth Johnston, Vice Chancellor, Planning & Administration, UW Bothell

Awarded 2018

Dear DSA Selection Committee-

I’m delighted to submit a team award nomination for the core team that worked on the 2017 UW Bothell Cascadia College Campus Master Plan (CMP). The core team included Kristine Kenney, Julie Blakeslee, Amy Van Dyke and Kelly Snyder. The CMP was completed over the past 18 months and adopted by the City of Bothell in November of 2017.

This project is unique in many ways. First, this is the most comprehensive look, assessment and vision of the campus since the campus was initially created more than 20 years ago. Second, this campus is the only one in the state that is shared equally by two institutions of higher education. UW Bothell and Cascadia College are tenants in common. Third, this is a once in a career type of project with broad ranging effects on how the campus will engage and serve students, faculty, staff, neighbors, the city of Bothell and greater community. Fourth, this was an opportunity for members from UW Seattle, UW Bothell and Cascadia College to work on a project together for the first time. The core team demonstrated extraordinary collaboration as well as respect for the greater community’s diverse viewpoints, while maintaining the integrity of the vision and mission of the three institutions and incorporating the needs of the on and off campus community. And finally, this was the first project of its kind to fully engage the community including students, faculty, staff, campus neighbors and the city of Bothell.

The CMP core team consisted of Kristine Kenney and Julie Blakeslee from UW Seattle and Amy Van Dyke and Kelly Snyder from UW Bothell. A fifth core team member, Meagan Walker from Cascadia College, is not eligible and has not been included for this UW staff award. Kristine was the campus master plan project manager. Julie Blakeslee led efforts for the environmental impacts statement and supported the land use negotiations with the city of Bothell. Amy Van Dyke provided historical context and physical space planning guidance. Kelly Snyder designed and implemented the community engagement strategy and led the negotiations with the city of Bothell on land use and process.

The project started in part due to conflict between the campus and neighbors immediately adjacent to the campus that opposed having student housing next to their neighborhood. The tone and tenor of this relationship, which had been good for many years, had devolved. The core team worked closely with various groups including the neighbors to identify a shared vision for actions and outcomes that would meet multiple objectives, and to ensure that land use and capital investment decisions support the institutional missions of UW Bothell and Cascadia College.

The first few meetings to develop of the campus master plan were contentious, but step by step the neighbors began to see the vision and the majority supported the campus’s effort. The campus master plan core team worked extensively for 18 months with the neighbors and broader UW Bothell and Cascadia campus community to establish trust and credibility by outlining a clear vision, timeline and opportunities to shape the final outcomes. These efforts included biweekly neighborhood meetings, one on one meetings with neighbors on campus and in their homes, responses to over one hundred comments, Q&A sessions at the campus library, presentations to many campus groups, and adjusting the plan throughout the process to best accommodate the needs of the community. These high level and sustained efforts have never been done for a project on the UW Bothell Cascadia College campus before. Further, those involved outside of campus, including the city staff, remarked how extensive and worthwhile these efforts have been and that they’ve never seen anything like it on any type of project. These efforts rebuilt the relationship with the community and supported the ability of UW Bothell and Cascadia College to achieve their respective visions and missions into the future as this plan begins implementation. Further, the CMP paves the way for a more efficient land use and permitting process, which will save the university and college millions of dollars in the future. Moreover, the campus master plan enables both institutions to serve more citizens in the state of Washington, to foster knowledge and discovery and to elevate the quality of lives.

The work with the city entailed changing the city development regulations, comprehensive plan and creating a new development agreement. The negotiations with the city to revise regulations took many months longer and required extraordinary skill and patience to meet the needs of the institutions as well as the neighbors and city. The city didn’t fully comprehend how UW Bothell and Cascadia are funded and what might be possible for mitigation. The development agreement was something new for the city. The core team worked to address all the city’s concerns, neighbor concerns and yet held to the integrity of the needs for the campus and the students being served. Even though the process was difficult and complicated, the agreement will serve the whole community well.

This core team is extraordinary and went well beyond the demands of their positions. They demonstrated excellence on behalf of the institutions and created a plan that had the support of their leadership, the UW regents, Cascadia trustees, neighbors, students, faculty, staff and the city. It has been a great pleasure to see such work completed in a professional and collaborative way. We are lucky to have these four individuals working for and representing the University of Washington.

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