Design process moving forward for Delridge Playfield

future advocateWest Seattle Skaters: get ready for another wild ride…

After much consideration and a few site visits, Seattle Parks has decided to proceed with a design process for a skatepark at Delridge Playfield.

Last week, Skatepark Advisory Committee Chair Ryan Barth and I met Seattle Parks Staff at High Point playfield to discuss a skatepark at that site, following up on the feedback from neighbors at the Myrtle meetings who wanted the skatepark built there instead of in their neighborhood. Kevin Stoops showed me what I already knew would be the only spot we could put the park, which is not big enough for the $725K park that they want to build in West Seattle. The entire site is already packed pretty tight with heavily programmed sports fields, with the exception of the treed area in the SW corner. Skaters love trees too, and we don’t want to tear them out, so we were basically looking at the small space between the trees and the pathway. By my estimation, this space is barely big enough for a 2500 sq/ft skate spot. Nestling the skate spot into that hillside, because the grade is so steep (look at the tennis courts…) they would have to build a retaining wall around it which would block sight lines and be expensive to build.

In essence: the site is a bad choice for a skatepark. I am disappointed that it even made it into the Skatepark Plan.

So then the question was: which site on the CityWide Skatepark Plan would be able to accommodate West Seattle’s first proper skatepark?

The only site in the citywide skatepark plan I thought would work based on existing uses and available space is Delridge playfield, so we drove over there and checked it out. There’s plenty of room to set it back from the street and give the folks in the homes across the street a little buffer zone. There’s a community center, and a big open area that is not currently programmed. There is also a teen program at the community center whose director is very excited about the idea of a skatepark to program. The downsides are that the neighbors across the street will be upset, but that’s always the case. Also, there aren’t as many families living right around the site, and there aren’t as many bus lines running by Delridge. But because this was the only site in all of West Seattle that had a large un-programmed space in it, I recommended that Parks consider Delridge for the $725K skatepark, and put High Point on a list for a future skate dot or small skate spot.

They took the recommendation back to Superintendent Gallagher and it was approved by the executive staff. So, Seattle Parks is moving forward with the design process for the Delridge location, and will be pursuing funding for the construction during the next budget cycle. Finding a design consultant could take a month, at which point a series of public meetings will be scheduled to gather input. If everything goes as planned, West Seattle skateboarders could be skating in a new park by the end of 2009, but the key step that has yet to happen is finding the actual construction dollars to build the park.

Keep checking back for meeting dates and future opportunities for supporting this new West Seattle skatepark.

9 Replies to “Design process moving forward for Delridge Playfield”

  1. I must say I’m disappointed. The number of skaters who live within walking or skating distance of Delridge community center area is negligible in comparison to those who would have been served by a park near 35th Ave. SW. This Delridge park would conceivably serve skaters living along Delridge, which includes the Delridge area neighborhoods and Highland Park/White Center. That’s great for about 1/3 of those who live in West Seattle, but what about the other 2/3? As usual, the neighbors around Myrtle have won their skirmish but it’s the youth and young adults of West Seattle who ultimately lose on this one. The High Point location was always a ruse, it never should have been in the skatepark plan, as you note, Matt. It doesn’t bother anyone that the only skate park in WS will essentially be in the least accessible location?

  2. Thanks for the comment Chas.

    IMO no matter where you put it 2/3 of West Seattle is going to have to travel to get to it. There are two bus lines running by this site, which helps. The real solution for the issue you’re bringing up here is to build more than one skatepark. If we weren’t trying to serve the entire West Seattle area with one skatepark (and hopefully more will come in the future) then this would not be an issue.

    I agree that there are probably less kids within walking distance of Delridge. That said, it’s more central than Roxhill, Hiawatha, and Alki, High Point doesn’t have the room. The space they’re looking at is not the only green space in the park, which is also nice, because it will make it harder for obstructionists to paint skaters as non-green. You can build a skatepark at Delridge without tearing up trees or removing the picnic areas, and there are actually a ton of kids who need a skatepark in that neighborhood.

  3. THANK YOU for choosing this site. I live so close in High Point N and can’t wait! It would be a downhill skate from 35th easy.

  4. I agree that High Point would be a wonderfully central location for a skate park. It’s high density housing, and many kids live in the immediate area.

    However, there are many kids in the Delridge Community Center and Play field area, too. Just come by some day when the school buses let off. 🙂

    Of course, if there were MORE skate parks then no single neighborhood would be overwhelmed.

    But then I’m secretly hoping the kids might take pity on a nearly 50-year old woman and teach her how to at least balance!

  5. Anywhere they put a skatepark in West Seattle will be historic to say the least, all I can say is…FINALLY!!! Delridge is certainly a great spot, but like I said, ANYWHERE is fine. My son and his friends have been very creative finding “skatespots” around the neighborhood. The bus and/or their boards, will get them to the new park! Wait until they see just how many kids will come from all over Westside to skate there! Neighborhood kids? No, No, WEST SEATTLE IS the neighborhood, and that includes Delridge. How fast can the G-block kids make it there? Just wait and see!!!!! Hope my son doesn’t have to be an adult to see a skatepark built in his NEIGHBORHOOD!!!:)

  6. I live a few blocks away from the site, and I’m excited at the possibility too.

    I think it’s great that we’re also recognizing that the “Delridge 1/3” of West Seattle is so disconnected from the rest via public transportation. Maybe this would be a nice kick in the pants to improve Metro transfer points in the area?

  7. Matt –

    I’m for siting a skateboard park at Delridge . . . but where exactly
    on the site would be an important consideration for me.

    Did your discussion with Parks go into this?

  8. Hi Dave,

    Not really, but I would imagine that the big open space in the NW section of the park is not only going to be the first choice, but also a point of contention.

    I’m hoping that we can come up with a design and location compromise that still allows for some open green space, for people who currently use the open field, and still find room for the skate features where they’re not tucked away in some unseen corner.

  9. wow…the first time i went by delrige to one of my freinds house’s i didnt even know this was happening. as soon as i turned my head in the passengers seat i saw it and i was like “WHAT!!!?” i am SOOOO excited for this, even though i have skateboarded for less than sixth months, ive always kinda had a wanting for a skatepark and now other peopls along with my dreams have been realized!!! thank you so much!

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