Effort begins to name Mukilteo youth club for Paull Shin

MUKILTEO — Retired state Sen. Paull Shin should be honored with a new Mukilteo Boys &Girls Club building bearing his name, the Snohomish County Council urged Wednesday.

The council passed a resolution supporting the project and asking the state Senate to approve $3 million for construction.

“This is a capital request to honor Paull Shin and to name the Boys &Girls Club building” after him, County Councilman Brian Sullivan said.

The resolution passed 5-0.

Shin, D-Edmonds, resigned this month after revealing that he’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

The council on Tuesday named as his replacement Marko Liias of Mukilteo, a Democratic state House member from Shin’s 21st Legislative District.

The Korean-born Shin, 78, was a college professor for 31 years, teaching East Asian studies at several schools including the University of Washington, Western Washington University and Shoreline Community College.

The County Council resolution calls him, “a dedicated public servant and teacher who has demonstrated throughout his life what is possible when children are given the resources and opportunity to succeed.”

Liias, as Shin’s successor in the senate, is making the request for the state money.

The Mukilteo Boys &Girls Club was founded in 1961 and still uses a former grange hall in the city’s Old Town area. Before- and after-school programs include childcare, sports and education.

The nonprofit for years has been preparing to build a new facility in the Harbour Pointe area, on city-owned land near the Mukilteo YMCA and Kamiak High School.

In 2005, Shin helped secure state funding to transfer 13 acres at 11600 47th Ave. W. to the city of Mukilteo with the stipulation that it be used for a youth organization. Sullivan, a former Mukilteo mayor who was then serving in the state House, also helped lead the effort.

In 2006, the Boys &Girls Club signed a 30-year lease for the land.

The organization still hopes to open a new building by 2016, said Bill Tsoukalas, executive director of the Boys &Girls Clubs of Snohomish County. The county organization includes 18 different clubs serving 15,000 youngsters.

“Mukilteo is the last building in our organization that we haven’t addressed either through a new building or a significant expansion,” Tsoukalas said.

The new building will cost an estimated $4 million and adjacent athletic fields another $1 million, he said. They’ve raised about $1 million so far with other fundraising requests pending. If the state money comes through, they should have enough to start construction.

Tsoukalas said he needs to seek approval from his board of directors about naming the future building after Shin.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com.

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