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Posts Tagged “skatepark”

Since my last post much has happened in regards to the effort to replace SeaSk8. Primarily, the team has been assembled and there is an effort underway to determine a site for the replacement park.

Let me try to catch you up quickly…

The Team:

The city has appointed Director of the Waterfront project, Marshall Foster, to sherpa the team through the process of replacing SeaSk8. The team consists of representatives of Seattle Center, Seattle Parks, Skateboarders, Skate Like A Girl, and the offices of city council members Bagshaw and Juarez. So far Mr. Foster has made a significant impact including setting up bi-weekly meetings and running interference between the various parties to keep the peace and momentum moving forward.

The sites:

One of the first things Marshall did was help to bring Grindline in to perform feasibility studies on the three sites that were brought to the table as options: the green space on Broad Street below the Space Needle, one of two spaces in Lake Union Park, and this weird plot of land behind the Ride The Ducks clubhouse. Those studies are moving forward and should be completed relatively soon. At that point the team will try to weigh the pluses and minuses of each site and try to put forward a preferred option to be approved by the city.

Based on the site chosen, a city department will then take the lead on the project. If it’s Broad Street then Seattle Center will need to own it. If it’s Lake Union Park, then it will be a Seattle Parks project. The third site will need to be transferred from Seattle Department of Transportation and it isn’t clear who will own the project if that site is chosen, but it will likely be Seattle Center.

The process continues and there is another meeting today. I will try to get better about keeping the site up-to-date and will back-fill with some future posts to provide more of the contextual information in the next few days to give you a better idea of what’s been transpiring. The process has been much more productive than past experiences, but it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.

More on that soon…

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It looks like someone forgot to eat breakfast before sitting down in front of Rhino.  At least throw in one of those SeaSk8 bacon strips guys!

Grindline took all of the feedback they gathered from the last meeting, and came up with these delicious new renderings.  Our folks at Parks tell us that these have been vetted through the initial layer of review with the Parks internal design folks, and may only need minor revisions.  Possible problems include the cantilevered slabs (safety), and some minor grading issues.

Features/changes of note include:

  • the deathbox/gap theme
  • the removal of the cool mini-ramp feature to the West of the bowl section
  • the bowl being split into two
  • the missing brick-stamped transition wall around the tree
  • the apparent solution to the “which way to bend the kidney” problem
  • the return of the Bainbridge shallow end (minus the pool block)

The SPAC meeting this Monday will serve as a de-facto feedback session on this new iteration of the design. Feel free to show up to the meeting and provide your input directly, or post it here in the comments section and I will deliver it for you.

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SeaSk8_Glass25Seattle artist Perri Lynch was pretty stoked to be chosen as the artist to work on SeaSk8’s art component.  She’s probably ecstatic now that her art has been installed, but we don’t know that for sure because she’s somewhere in India.  Who knows…maybe she’s looking at these pictures to see how things went.

I can report that, yes, the art is installed.  I can also confirm that it is definitely awesome.  Can you guess what the images are that are imposed on the glass?  (The Space Needle is a reflection)

The park is still closed, as there is more pouring and finishing to do.  (note: someone has already posted evidence of a poaching mission).  However, Shaggy and SPAC friend Justin tested out the glass wall and gave it the thumbs-up:  “It’s like skating a dusty masonite ramp.  It’s slippery, but it’s doable.”

Both dudes got about half-way up the glass wall, but were getting another 3-4 feet higher on the concrete vert wall to the North of the glass.  They were both kicking from the SW corner of the park, which is pretty much the farthest you can get away from the glass.  It seemed like Shaggy was getting more speed by coming off the steeper banked side and cutting over, but like I said they both reached about the same altitude.  There was a little barking coming from the wheels against the glass, but for the most part it was silent.  Justin said “it was like skating on ice”.

Go forth young lunatics.  Reach for the skies.  But please wait until the park is open, because if not you will be kicked out, and possibly arrested.

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Photo credit:  West Seattle Blog

Photo credit: West Seattle Blog

It’s still very early, and none of this is set in stone yet, but SPAC Chair Ryan Barth and I met with Tim Gallagher and Susan Golub from Parks yesterday to discuss funding for the Delridge Skatepark.

As the WSB reported a few weeks ago, the Parks Board announced that several projects had bids that came in way under projections, and that there would actually be a surplus of funds available.  They said they would be interested in using these funds for the Delridge skatepark, and yesterday the Superintendent confirmed that this was what could happen if skaters can generate enough support amongst the Parks Board.  Right now, the funding they are thinking about allocating to Delridge is $500K, but there is more available.

It may surprise you, but that’s not enough to construct a park the size of a typical Skatespot as defined by the Citywide Skatepark Plan.  So the next step may be to shift the Myrtle Reservoir skatedot funding from the Parks For All Levy to Delridge.  If you’ve been following skatepark advocacy in Seattle at any point over the last few years, you know that a few loud voices came out to the Myrtle Reservoir meetings and scared Parks enough to put the skatedot plans for that site on hold.   It will take City Council approval, but this seems likely to happen based on my experience and a good line of communication between skatepark advocates and the City Council.  The amount currently designated for the Myrtle skatedot is $250K.

The remaining issue, which has been ongoing for a while now, is the overall size of the Delridge skatepark.  The Superintendent told me yesterday that the amount of funds that would be pulled from the surplus would be gauged by the size of the park being designed.  The problem with this is that the size of the park was reduced to 10K sq/ft because they didn’t know what the construction budget was going to be.

So now we’re in a position where we’re being allocated money based on a design that was based on the fact that we didn’t have any money!

I’ve been beating this drum for a while now, and was afraid this would come back to bite us.  What we need to do right now is to start making our case to Parks and the Parks Board that the skatepark’s size was determined in the absence of a construction budget, and needs to be re-evaluated now that funding is available.  This needs to happen before the design process is complete, which is in essence, next week.

Here’s why Delridge needs to be larger:

  • This park will be West Seattle’s first and only skatepark for sometime, and there are a lot of skateboarders in West Seattle.  This 10K sq/ft park will quickly become crowded and overrun, creating safety issues for skateboarders, and putting undue pressure on the facility’s surroundings.
  • There is some room to expand the design, not drastically mind you, but there is potential for 4-6K sq/ft of additional space that would make a huge difference.  We’re not asking for the world here.  This request is reasonable.
  • The design is somewhat cramped by the 10K sq/ft limitation set by Parks on this site.  Skateboarders would greatly benefit from a less condensed design, with more room to spread out.  The community would also benefit by having a more aesthetically pleasing and better integrated skatepark.

I will be making these points at the next SkatePark Advisory Committee meeting, which is on Monday the 11th, at 7pm, in the Parks HQ at 100 Dexter. Superintendent Gallagher will be there, along with the Delridge Project Manager Kelly Davidson, and Planning Manager Kevin Stoops.  This will be a great time to give Kelly the community support she needs to add some needed square footage to the design, by making some public statements during the meeting.  There will also be a committee vote on whether or not the Myrtle funds should be diverted to Delridge.

There will also be a representative from the committee that is working on an impressive piece of skateable public art for the skatepark, to report on that project’s progress.

This is an important meeting for the Delridge Skatepark!

Please consider coming to the SPAC meeting to show your support, and drag along other folks from the community to join you.


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Hey look!  It’s good news!

The West Seattle Blog just reported this in thier wind-up from the Parks Board meeting last night:

“Bids for parks projects are coming in under budget — including Hiawatha Playfield artificial turf and track improvements (9 bids, it was noted tonight, all below the engineer’s estimate of $1.6 million, one as low as $1.1 million!). With this climate for bids, the Parks Department has new hope for unfunded projects, including the Delridge Skatepark, which is said to be #1 on the list. Design of the skatepark – set for the northeast corner of the park next to Delridge Community Center – had proceeded, but construction money didn’t make it into the city budget – even before the latest round of cuts and revenue-forecast revisions. We’ll follow up on what tonight’s news means for the project.”

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LW Earth DaySnoCon and Element are teaming up on Earth Day to clean up Lower Woodland, and based on the condition of the place during last few times I’ve visited, it’s none too soon.

They promise giveaways, some contest action, and free food.  All you have to do is grab a provided garbage bag and pick up after your careless buddies to qualify for the free love.

While you’re at it, bring some carb fluid and wipe out some of that awful graffiti.  Or put up some ‘NO BIKES’ signs around the railings, because nobody reads the small print on those existing ones.

Just because this event is organized doesn’t mean you can’t show up under your own initiative and go above and beyond the role of garbage collector.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Click here for more info.

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fx_seattle-set-03-copyThe Seattle Center issued a press release last week announcing the ground-breaking down at the SeaSk8 site.  What is not mentioned here, is that the park is one month behind schedule, and is now slated to open in July.  Let’s hope that’s the extent of the slip.  Grindline is working with some new materials and the park’s design is pretty out-there.

City of Seattle

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, March 16, 2009
MEDIA CONTACT: Deborah Daoust / (206) 769-0259

Media Information

Seattle Center Breaks Ground on State-of-the-Art Skate Park

Seattle Center has started construction on a 10,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Skate Park.  The project includes improvements to one of the main intersections leading into the campus at 2nd Avenue and Thomas Street. It is expected to be completed by early summer.

Seattle Center worked closely with the skate board community on design of the Seattle Center Skate Park. It will feature practical and artistic elements, with skateable streetscape features and outstanding usability. A non-skateable divider will be built between the park and the campus, and it will be open daily (for daytime use only).

The Seattle City Council mandated construction of the Seattle Center Skate Park after property housing the former Skate Park was sold to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for development of its world headquarters.  The project was funded by proceeds of the sale and other City capital funds.

The placement and design of the Seattle Center Skate Park were vetted through an extensive public process including public and Skate Park community meetings, determination and notice of non-significance, and published public notice, comment period and appeal period. The Park also was part of the environmental review associated with the Seattle Center Century 21 Master Plan.

Project members include:
Weinstein A|U–Architect
VDZ/New Line Skateparks—Skatepark Design
Perri Lynch—Artist
KPFF Consulting Engineers–Structural Engineers
WSP Flack + Kurtz–Mechanical and Electrical Engineers
McClure and Sons, Inc.–General Contractors
Grindline Skateparks–Skatepark Construction

The Skate Park site contained a pavilion built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. It runs along Thomas Street southwest of KeyArena.  Mechanical and catering facilities for KeyArena are housed below site, and so the skating area will be built up above the ground (as opposed to a bowl type design).

Attached are images of the conceptual design. For more information on the Seattle Center Skate Park and other activities at Seattle Center, visit www.seattlecenter.com

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