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Parks just gave us word that Grindline is the apparent low bidder for the Roxhill park.  This is great news!

However, they were careful to note that there is no room in the budget for any embellishments, so don’t get your hopes up for any fancy Grindline upgrades to California Skateparks less-than bonkers design.

The real question is why does a skatepark this size cost $75 per sq/ft?  It seems like there’d be a lot more room for a better skatepark if it didn’t cost so damn much to build them here in Seattle.

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Have you skated Jefferson yet?

Sure, there are issues with the lights at our first lit skatepark, but there’s plenty to be happy about up at the new Jefferson skatepark.

The grand re-opening of the park is happening on July 14th, and the skatepark portion of the event will not be under-emphasized.  Marshall is in charge again, SLAG is involved, and there are some amazing skaters and sponsors lined to up make sure it’s a killer time for everyone.

Check out for more details.

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Hey everyone,

Hopefully you’re heading out to your local skatepark, since we have those now, or down to SeaSk8 at 2pm to celebrate GSD with your friends.

While we’re out celebrating our favorite sport by actually skateboarding, here are some recent updates on new skatepark construction in Seattle:

  • Roxhill is live on the city’s bid system starting today and bids are due on July 11th.
  • Judkins will be posted by Friday and it will bid July 18th.
  • Northgate (Hubbard Homestead) is in the final stage of documentation approval and is going out to bid “soon”.
  • Jefferson Park’s official grand opening party will be a part of the Jefferson Park Jubilee celebration on July 14th.  SLAG and Marshall are working on a fun program for the skatepark so stay tuned.  Also, the new lights are supposed to be in before the grand opening.


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Photo credit: Joel Lee

If you’ve tried to skate the first ever skatepark in Seattle to have lights at nighttime, then you know there is a serious problem: they don’t adequately illuminate the park.  This is in spite of the lighting designer shutting down any questions brought forth during the public meetings with quips like “I am a professional, this is what I do every day.”  There was even a bunch of talk about using LED downlighting that obviously didn’t make it into the final product.  (I almost wonder if this is why the shadows exist…)

It’s great that we finally have a skatepark that is open at night, but it adds a bit of insult to injury to have just enough light to skate, but not enough to actually skate safely.  There are shadows all over the park, and some of them could be dangerous if you weren’t familiar with those areas.  Good luck if it’s your first time skating there.

The good news is that Seattle Parks has gone back to the contractor to get a bid for adding more lights and frankly, for finishing the job they were supposed to do right the first time.  It must be nice to be a contractor with the City of Seattle…if you don’t do it right the first time, they will just pay you again to fix it later.

Anyone want to go in on a contractor’s license?

The schedule for this fix is TBD.  I will post more info as I get it.

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Skateboard Park Advisory Committee

February 13, 2012


Committee Members Present: Ryan Barth, Matthew Lee Johnston, Scott Shinn

Guests:  None

Staff: Susan Golub


Note: The November 14, 2011 SPAC meeting was held concurrently with the final Roxhill skatepark design meeting at the Southwest Library and no minutes were taken.  There was no SPAC meeting in January 2012.


The meeting began at 6:15


Roxhill Skatespot


Kelly Davidson provided the following update via email: I have sent the SPAC bullet list of suggested alterations to California Skateparks and I plan to have a phone meeting them to discuss what may be feasible within the current footprint and budget. We expect 65% construction documents to be reviewed in the next couple of weeks.


Discussion ensued regarding general dissatisfaction with the existing skatepark design and potential remediations.  Ryan noted that a number of features could be changed in subtle ways to improve the overall flow of the park, including small modifications to various transition and street features.  Susan noted that site issues have introduced additional complexity to the process.  Matt asked if there is an internal review process for vendors in the Parks system, and noted that a post mortem discussion of this skatepark project would be desirable upon completion.  Ryan reiterated the SPAC’s initial concerns with the Rob Dyrdek Foundation donation to this skatepark project and California Skateparks’ designation as its sole source vendor, noting that a similar letter to the City will be in order at this time.  Additional discussion ensued regarding the lack of a final design at the final public design meeting, and the need to document this fact for the sake of future skateparks.


Judkins Skatespot


Kelly Davidson provided the following update via email: 65% Construction Documents have been approved. Permit intake meeting will take place next week and project is expected to bid in May and start construction in July.


Hubbard Homestead Skatespot


This project should have begun construction this month, and has been plagued by delays.  Ryan requested follow-up by Susan with Patrick Donohue.  Additional discussion ensued regarding the inadequate status of lighting at Jefferson, the need for communication about this with Patrick to ensure that a quality lighting solution is achieved at Hubbard Homestead.


Jefferson Skatepark


Morris Wainwright recently attended a lighting meeting on behalf of the SPAC with the lighting consultant and Kim Baldwin.  At this time, it appears that there is no consistent standard for skatepark lighting solutions, both locally and beyond Seattle.  Discussion ensued regarding the details of various shadows at Jefferson, the level of light required at this skatepark, the lack of LED lights that were originally expected, and the quality of service being provided by this consultant.  Other than the lighting issue, the new skatepark is great and often packed with skaters.


Summit Slope Skatedot


No news at this time.


Crown Hill Skatedot


The grand opening for Crown Hill Park will occur on May 19th.  Skate Like a Girl (SLAG) and Youth Employment Skateboarding (YES) will be presenting the first in a series of skate clinics at this location in March, initially to the staff of the Small Faces Child Development Center.


Kirke Park Skatedot


Despite a full, levy-funded public process, and a complete design review process, the bids for this skatedot are too high and there is not enough money in the budget to build the skate feature.  It appears that there is something changing in the construction business as well, given that the low bid was $9K and the high bid was $40K.  Construction of the park will begin in May.  Discussion ensued regarding getting some money into this project before May in order to build this feature.  If there are savings from Roxhill, these funds might be available for Kirke.  Ryan to follow up with Kelly Davidson regarding the feasibility of this idea.


Lower Woodland Skatepark


Discussion about the lighting issue occurred, including a NMF grant, and bundling lights with the larger sports field improvement project currently slated to occur within the next 5 years.


Skatepark Activation


Susan reported that Seattle has partnered with SLAG to apply for a $100K Innovations in American Government grant to extend services currently offered by YES.  Discussion ensued regarding permitting for a skatepark clinic series, designated times for skate sessions at parks, excluding other groups of skaters who are not participating in clinics from public skateparks, size limits to clinics, life skills coaching offered by skate clinics, and the community value of paying teen skaters to be counselors at YES clinics.  Additional discussion ensued regarding vendors and commercial interests at skateparks for purposes of promotion, product giveaway, and clinics.


Future Skateparks


Discussion ensued regarding the end of Parks and Green Spaces Levy funding, the recession, the lack of a future funding source for more new skateparks, the Opportunity Fund, the Neighborhood matching fund, maintenance costs, and budget cycle timing.  Scott to follow up with Kevin Hilman regarding the next Opportunity Fund round and the Lake City skatedot campaign.


Matt noted the need to fund maintenance of the existing skatepark system, and establish a fund for future skatepark maintenance.  Discussion ensued regarding this issue, which will become a primary objective of the SPAC in 2012.


Benefit Park


Phase one is complete.  A Small & Simple Grant may also be completed by local advocates for additional features. Kelly Davidson also provided the following update via email:


Funding was from the remaining Skatedot funds. Break down of costs are…

Design $8,911

Construction of bench caps $8,790

Remaining funds $2,500


I just received confirmation that the Seattle Conservation Corps will take on all preparation for the slab on the interior of the curved benches. They have their own funding source to cover that portion of the work.  I will need to find funding to have the concrete poured and finished and to fabricate the pole jam and steel bench. I’m expecting to use the remaining $2,500 toward this and I will need to see where else I can come up with some funds.




The meeting adjourned at 7:25.  The next SPAC meeting will occur on Monday, April 9, 2012, 6PM, 100 Dexter Ave.

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..and…I dunno…they feel pretty uninspired.

Parks has this scheduled to go out to bid in late May, with construction beginning in July.

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Technically not Seattle, but close enough, this report just came in from Brenden in SeaTac:

” New skatepark location is at the Seatac Community Center (13735 24th Avenue South, SeaTac, WA) near the basketball court. Skatepark will be about 6,000sq feet with a 250K budget. The skatepark is being designed by Grindline and while small looks to be really impressive. Last nights meeting had Micah from Grindline  to talk to use about the park and get some ideas on what we would like to see and that park and changes for the final design. About 10 people were there 8 rollerbladers and two younger skateboarders all had really good input into the park. They want to finalize the design this winter and put out to bid early next year so it can be built next summer.”

Even though this is in SeaTac, Seattle skaters should take note because the budget and size of this park is very similar to that of Roxhill, but there is a clear and distinct difference in what Grindline is showing here compared to the 3-5 ideas California Skateparks has been showing throughout the Roxhill process.

My advice to the kids in Gatewood is to start researching the bus routes to SeaTac.



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Newsflash!  There are six skatepark projects currently in development in Seattle! Holy crap!

Roxhill skatespot (West Seattle – link): the fourth and final public meeting is this coming Monday the 14th, from 6-7pm at the Southwest Library (9010 35th Ave SW), which you should attend because the design process thus far has been problematic and has not provided anyone with a clear picture of what exactly will be built.

Jefferson Skatepark (Beacon Hill – link): the park should be open in the first part of December and confirmed that it will have LIGHTS!!!  It is unclear on how late the lights would be on but fingers crossed it is until at least 10:30 or 11pm.

Hubbard Homestead Skatepark (just north of Northgate Mall – link): design is complete and contractor selection should be occurring any day.

Judkins Skatepark (link): design is final and contractor selection should be occurring soon.

Crown Hill Mini Ramp (Crown Hill: link):  The miniramp and adjacent small bank/rail, ledge and perimeter rocks are fully installed and OPEN FOR SKATING.  Grindline did their usually incredible cement work and the miniramp tranny and coping is perfect.

Kirke Park Skatedot (7028 9th Avenue NW – link):  The design is complete and construction should be starting soon.



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Skate Like a Girl does important work, and it’s cool that Nancy and SLAG are getting recognized by Parks for their ongoing effort to build community around skateparks and skateboarding in Seattle.  They especially deserve credit for trying to raise awareness that skateboarding isn’t just for dudes, mostly because it’s true, but also because it helps non-skaters understand that skateparks serve a much larger user group than they probably realize.

Parks gives away an annual Denny Award and this year they are recognizing Nancy, which is awesome.

Congrats to Nancy, Fleur, and all the folks who have helped to make Skate Like a Girl so successful.

Check out the link to the award page at Seattle Parks Website here.

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Hey everyone,

Due to the troubled state of the Roxhill design process, we have decided to move this Monday’s SPAC meeting to the Soutwest Library branch instead of having it at the usual location.  We feel that it’s important for everyone who can possibly make it to attend this third and possibly final design meeting.  So far things have not gone well, and we have yet to see a design that remotely reflects the needs of the site or the feedback presented in the previous three meetings.

The meeting will be from 6-7pm at the Southwest Branch Library:

9010 35th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98126

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