4:55 PM: Thanks to Beef and Mark, both of whom e-mailed notes and photos (that’s Beef‘s picture above) to let us know that demolition is under way at the old Highland Park wading pool, to make way for West Seattle’s first spray park, which will be built in its place. Back when the idea of converting the wading pool into a spray park was first proposed in 2009, construction was expected to start the next year, but there’ve been changes along the way, including extra Parks and Green Spaces Levy money to take the project beyond a bare-bones spray feature. The Seattle Parks project page says it should be done in mid-May and open this summer. That’ll be five years after the wading pool was last open; in late 2008, the federal government mandated safety retrofits that were never installed because Parks expected to redevelop the site. You can see the spraypark’s design plan on the Parks website.
6:39 PM UPDATE: After Beef and Mark sent word of the construction work, we sent an inquiry to project manager Kelly Goold at Seattle Parks, to look for a few more specifics. Kelly’s reply:
Yes, it is exciting news that we are finally breaking ground. Current schedule is to have construction complete and the spray-park operational by May 27th (the typical opening day for spray-parks and wading pools).
Also, the art installation project is moving forward. The artist Leo Berk is doing great work on the project you have described in WSB in previous posts.
The art project involves the building at the site; here’s our report, with renderings, from last November.