Archive for the “River City” Category

This is why Grindline should always design/build.  Holy crap!

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The only thing I have to say is…AWESOME!  This is totally going to be my favorite skatepark in Seattle.

Thanks to Matt Lawson for taking the photos.

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RCSP gravel baseIt’s happening.  Here’s an update from Mark:

“The park is being built now.  Rough grades, fill, and subgrade compaction are complete.  Gravel underlayment has been placed and Mark Hubbard is onsite this week getting the forms laid out.  One of the folks from Grindline Japan is in town and is supposed to be lending a hand in the coming weeks.  Hopefully the dry weather holds, although we are out of the woods now that the site has passed geotech inspection and properly drains so as to not create ponding in the middle of the site.  Anyone who might have a giant tent to loan would be the biggest hero in the world – let me know if you hear of anything.

We’re looking at 7-9 weeks until the concrete work is complete.  It is nice to finally follow up on the pledges that were made so long ago.  James Klinedint’s tireless work to document the park for permit (TWICE!!!), Hubbard being there for us on and off and on again, Matt Fluegge’s cool hand, Department of Neighborhoods’ cash money, SODO Rotary, NUCOR’s rebar donation, Cadman’s super-discount, and the South Park neighborhoods’ unwavering patience.”

This is huge news and the realization of an amazing grass-roots community skatepark success story.

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The park will be smaller than originally planned, but this is still amazing news:

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Hello River City partners – We hope all is well for you all.
CONSTRUCTION OF THE SKATEPARK:
We have the permits in hand and will run through a design revision this week to coordinate the construction budget with the money we have in the bank.  We have to scale the park back a bit from what we had originally envisioned, but we feel that it is really of great benefit to the community.  The park will be more of a street park, with concrete benches, level changes, humps, and features that skaters of all ages can use.  Since it is a Grindline park, there will be many ways that one can use it.  When it is very busy, many users will be able to skate at one time. They have revised the design to a “pin wheel” that essentially allows five different sets of groups to skate at once, but it also acts as a continuous snake run that will allow folks at less popular times to connect obstacles all across the park. There will be a small kidney pool (envision a small swimming pool) with open sides that allow visible access and flow into that part of the park.

What this revised vision equates to is a park that is useful to more than just skateboarders. It will be a place to sit and watch that will be accessible to everyone.

Construction will start next week.  Mark Hubbard, James, Matt, and other Grindline folks will be onsite working for the next few months. Please let people know that they can stop and say hi, share tacos, drop off burritos, or say thanks any time.  Don’t hesitate to thank Sea Mar for the land.

We will follow up with a new graphic shortly – we are in triage mode to get the site mobilized and our revisions into the city for a seamless project beginning, but as soon as we have a pretty graphic I will get it out to you (and to the SP library and Neighborhood and Community  Centers).

More soon.
-mark and kim
River City Skatepark

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An SSdotO reader tipped us on a bulldozer moving dirt around at the River City site, so we tracked down this update from Mark Johnson, key rockstar from the South Park team:

“We got our first load of fill dirt on site last week and we are waiting
for some final geotechnical data to resubmit the final revisions (Ry
will laugh at my “final” reference!).

So far, we have approval on the grading and drainage permits and are
waiting on the (last) structural permit.

Matt, James, and Emily are poised to start work as soon as we have the
permit approval. I am hopeful that we will get the geotech info this
week, so barring unforeseen obstacles we should be able to start in the
next month or so. I know I have said that before…

James has a drainage contractor lined up to do the storm drain tie in,
and Emily and Mike Leong from Sea Mar are in contact to iron out the
details of how much funding remains after permitting. “

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It’s been really quiet in the RCSP camp, so I shot Mark an email and he sent me this update.  It sounds like things are getting ready to jump off down there in a big way, and with Delridge on the way we could have two Grindline parks in the South end by the end of 2009!

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Since November 2007, River City has been working away at the technical
hurdles required for a public construction project.  The SEPA review
(http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/sepa/e-review.html) is complete and
the building permit review is right around the corner, so construction
should start in September with the park built by the end of the year.
We have learned alot about making a park outside of the lines of city
agencies.  Where a Parks dept. entity has some perks with their direct
linkage to the building department and public review agencies, the
grassroots approach has to follow the same path any developer would
where the applicant must prove the merits and potential impacts of the
project on the surroundings.  There is a process called "Determination
of Non-Significance" that a city agency can state - without review - for
a project if it feels it meets what the title suggests.  A private
entity must prove it's "Non-Significance" through a review process - in
our case requiring 6 months and $5,000+.  I am not criticizing the
system, just stating the experience, as the SEPA / DNS process is
instrumental in controlling reckless, inconsiderate development.   While
the benefits of building the park outside of municipal process outweigh
the challenges (namely total project cost and the ability to
design/build), there is a whole lot more up front legwork for everyone
involved.  Huge kudos to James and Grindline for sticking with the
permitting process that has led to them producing a full construction
drawing set and numerous city reviews.  Grindline's donation to this
park is huge.  I don't have any numbers on the actual value yet, but
there is no way this project would happen without them.   
 
Mark Hubbard is back from building parks on the other side of the world
and Grindline is stoked to be making TWO parks within a few miles of
their headquarters.
 
Get ready to make some noise when the dump trucks start rolling in.
 
More later.  
 
 - mark

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sad_sparkler.jpgFor skaters in Seattle, last year kinda sucked.

It started off crappy. I remember January 3rd, 2007 like it was yesterday. I was sitting at my desk at work, and someone from the Stranger called to ask me how I felt about the demolition of SeaSk8. I had spent the previous 4 years on the SPAC, going to countless meetings, but for some reason no one at Seattle Center felt like notifying any of us about the scheduled bulldozing of a beloved Seattle skatepark.

As 2007 rolled on, the Seattle Center staff, who report to Mayor Nickels, continued to play a shell game with the new location for SeaSk8. Corporate tenants the Experience Music Project, Pacific Science Center, and the Space Needle, fought successfully to keep the new skatepark out of the best location on Broad Street. David Della’s Parks committee then chose a new site on top of a beloved piece of art work. Finally, the City Council, tired and bewildered after years of squabbling over what should’ve been a no-brainer, forced the park into it’s current 2nd and Thomas ‘Pavilion’ site to the tune of 4+ Million dollars and the demolition of an actively-used building.

But things were looking up around August when Kris Fuller gave up on her costly litigation against the Lower Woodland skatepark. However it was not good news when it was said and done. She succeeded in stalling the park’s construction for over a year, and sapped over $20K out of park’s budget in delay and cost increases.

In West Seattle, a few angry neighbors managed to intimidate the Parks Department into pulling skateparks off of two improvement projects. At Ercolini Park, the organizers of the project didn’t even understand why Parks had removed the skate dot from the plans, because “one person had some concerns about noise but that was about it”. At Myrtle Reservoir, 20 neighbors showed up and voiced concerns about crime, degenerate skaters, and a general decline of peace and civility that the skatepark would bring. Further investigation into the emails sent to the Seattle Parks Department told a different story, where neighbors were simply afraid of the kids in the lower income High Point neighborhood coming to play near their houses.

More great news washed over the group that’s been successfully heading up the River City Skatepark project in South Park. They were awarded the remainder of the money they needed through a Department of Neighborhoods grant. This signaled the end of a very positive and successful process in which a community will be building a skatepark that has been entirely funded and driven by citizen effort, totally outside of the Parks Department process.

The city-wide skatepark plan was adopted, ushering in 27 pre-vetted sites as a result of an exhaustive 9-month public process.

Marginal Way poured a huge slab of flat and some more transition, cementing their place as a monument to Seattle skateboarder tenacity, dedication, and incredible sense of community.

2008 may very well be a pivotal year in Seattle’s skatepark history. Lower Woodland will be completed in a few months, and SeaSk8 construction will begin. River City will also be completed, and there are currently efforts in City Council to get funding for skateparks in Judkins, Jefferson, Delridge, and Roxhill. A skatedot fund is also being discussed.

It’s wise not to get your hopes up, as we’ve learned after repeated stalls and bumps along the road to getting more skateparks built in Seattle. But an optimistic eye would see at least a few great opportunities to turn this train around and get Seattle back on the track to becoming a great city for young and old skateboarders alike in 2008.

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We just recieved an update from the River City Camp, and an invitation to come down and help this Saturday:

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Hi Everyone –

I hope summer has treated you well. We are currently working on the SEPA application with the city to get ready to bring the fill material in over the winter. Grindline has been working away refining the design to include an entry plaza and more plants along the perimeter.

We have received some great support from suppliers in the neighborhood – concrete, pipes, electrical, plumbing – everyone is stepping up. We are really excited.

Next week, Seattle Works and WaMu will be hosting a planting event at the park. They are donating trees and plants that we will plant along the highway onramp. Many of you remember the old willow that watched over the site for many years that broke in the windstorm – we will be honoring it by planting 10 willows along the edge of the site to buffer highway noise for the neighbors.

Saturday, Sept 29 – 9am-noon – tree planting at River City Skatepark.
Bring gloves and a shovel if you have one. We will use the new SP tools as well!

check out the article in the West Seattle Herald about RCSP.

Rock on River City – mark

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RCSP DesignRiver City skatepark organizer Mark Johnson announced yesterday that RCSP has been awarded $90,000 from the Department of Neighborhoods toward construction of the skatepark. This completes the goal of $166,000 for the park, and as soon as they have the required permits, construction on the park will begin. Current plans have groundbreaking scheduled for September.

The River City skatepark has been a huge success story. Get the whole story over at the RCSP website.

Congratulations to all involved with the River City project!

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