Kirkland Teen Union Building (KTUB)

About the Kirkland Teen Union Building (KTUB)

In 1996, the Kirkland Youth Council organized its first All-City Youth Summit. Over 300 youth gave the Kirkland Youth Council and the City a mandate that they wanted Kirkland to be a better place for teens. The number one recommendation from this group was to develop a teen center in Kirkland. In 1997 the concept of a teen center emerged as one of five City Council priority goals. Teens needed a safe and welcoming place to hang out after school or on weekends; a place to develop relationships with police, community members, and the business community. Kirkland youth wanted a center for artistic and self-expression, particularly through music, art, and photography.

Unique to this project was the City’s desire and determination to have youth input throughout the development and implementation of both the program and facility. After years of research, dedication, and persistence, the teens of Kirkland were able to dedicate a facility to their peers on June 9, 2001. The KTUB facility is truly a reflection of Kirkland’s dedication to youth and the power that young voices can have in a community.

After a competitive RFP process, Friends of Youth was selected as the operating partner. Together, Friends of Youth, youth and City staff designed the facility, developed the programs, and hired staff. Friends of Youth continued this progressive, inclusive, youth centered approach throughout its ten-year partnership with the City. In 2009 Friends of Youth chose not to renew its contract with the City as the organization moved toward focusing its efforts on youth experiencing and transitioning out of homelessness.

A second RFP process was held in early 2010 for a new operating partner for the Kirkland Teen Union Building. On July 1, 2010 the City entered into an operating agreement with the YMCA of Greater Seattle. In June 2020, the City of Kirkland chose not to extend the agreement with the YMCA for services.

In November 2020, KTUB became a temporary host for Studio East. [News Release]

A formal process to identify the next organization to fulfill KTUB’s mission as a recreation, resource and arts center for teens will start in 2022. Please watch for more information as well as further opportunities for public input.