Sunset Empire Parks and Recreation Department

Seaside, OR

Seaside, OR

Sunset Empire Parks and Recreation Department

Seaside, OR

In many areas throughout the United States, residents do not have access to adequate childcare. While that statement alone would get anyone’s attention, the impact is far reaching. With limited childcare options, parents may have to travel further from their homes to find proper daycare facilities. This can affect the types of employment they can pursue and, possibly, prevent them from finding work.

This phenomenon is known as a childcare desert and it impacts life for over half the population in the U.S, including residents of Seaside, OR, a city located in the northern part of the state. The community qualifies as a childcare desert with more than three times as many children under the age of five as available slots in licensed childcare facilities.

Seaside is one of the communities along the Oregon coast served by the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District (SEPRD). To address the area’s childcare desert and to identify opportunities to better serve its over 10,000 residents, the SEPRD leadership team engaged the Sports Facilities Companies and its project partner Scott | Edwards Architecture to conduct a highest and best use study. Through this study, SFC and S|EA worked to identify, recommend, forecast, and design programs and physical spaces at a former middle school building that was acquired by SEPRD.

The project focused on three primary needs in the market:

  • Addressing the community’s “childcare desert” by creating classrooms and expanding programs to fill a void for early childhood education
  • Enhancing opportunities for community members of all ages and interests to participate in recreation, wellness, arts, and other programs
  • Retaining and expanding sports tourism events that bring over $10 million of economic impact to Seaside annually, in part, by using the courts at the former middle school building


Through this scope of work, SFC and its project partner performed the following services:

  • Facilitated a strategic planning session with key client team members
  • Held a series of stakeholder and community engagement meetings
  • Toured the facility, existing SEPRD assets, the market, and competing facilities
  • Identified and toured similar facilities in other markets with the client team
  • Developed a list of recommended programs and services
  • Assessed the layout and physical structure of the building to establish the plan for highest and best use of space
  • Created list of recommended improvements to the physical asset
  • Developed use of space design documents
  • Produced a detailed, institutional-grade financial forecast
  • Delivered all materials in a written report and in a presentation to the client team


Advisory Services:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Market and Industry Research
  • Stakeholder, Community, and Partner Engagement
  • Highest and Best Use Modeling
  • Pro Forma with Economic Impact Forecast
  • Design Support
  • Implementation Planning
  • Report and Presentation


Indoor Recreation Facility


Seaside, OR


  • Gymnasium
  • Community Recreation Space
  • Early Childhood Center
  • Tenant Space

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