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The Port has reached an agreement with the Bellingham International Sailing Center to locate a community sailing center on Port property when fundraising efforts prove successful. The sailing center would be located near the intersection of Cornwall Avenue and Pine Street next to the City of Bellingham’s future waterfront park at the end of Cornwall Avenue. The Bellingham International Sailing Center is intended to support youth and small boat sailing, sailor and maritime education and the advanced skills required for races and regattas.
“Having the sailing center in a central waterfront location will add tremendous value to the waterfront because it will enhance the options of all members of our community to learn to sail, learn maritime skills, and will attract investment” said sailing center planning member Mr. Mike Allsop. "Sailing and boating have a large impact on local businesses."
Over the past year, the Port worked with representatives from the Bellingham International Sailing Center to find a location which would help strengthen community and business connections. Most of the sailing center is intended to be open to the public and would add a community amenity next to an area slated for redevelopment into Bellingham’s largest waterfront park. If fundraising efforts are successful, the Port will relocate some of its parking and storage areas to support development of the Bellingham International Sailing Center.
“The eventual expansion of facilities and amenities to a unified waterfront location creates possibilities for new partnerships and collaborations for our diversified sailing community and business partners, including the Whatcom Working Waterfront Coalition” Bellingham International Sailing Center planning member Dr. Jim Gibson said.
“We were pleased to find a suitable location with shallow water access so the next generation of Whatcom County mariners can learn how to sail safely” Port Commission President Dan Robbins said. “As we looked at different waterfront locations, it was important to find a site which met the needs of the sailing center but did not impact the Port’s ability to redevelop the Bellingham Shipping Terminal and create working waterfront jobs.”
Redeveloping the Bellingham Shipping Terminal is a priority for the Port in 2016. The Port is making significant investments to modernize the terminal with improvements that include increasing the navigation depth, re-roofing a portion of the over 85,000 square feet of available covered storage space, updating the electrical service and performing significant stormwater and paving upgrades.