Skatepark Committee backs moving money from Myrtle to Delridge

At tonight’s meeting of the city Skatepark Advisory Committee, a big step was taken toward cobbling together the money needed to build the Delridge Skatepark, even though its original funding was pulled from the city budget: With Parks Superintendent Tim Gallagher and two managers in attendance, as well as what one committee member called “the largest number of people we’ve ever had in this room over the age of 12,” the SPAC voted to recommend moving a quarter-million dollars in Parks Levy money to Delridge. The $250,000 was originally earmarked for a “skate spot” at the future Myrtle Reservoir park, but as committee member Matthew Lee Johnston of West Seattle (center, in photo at left) noted, multiple community meetings last year turned thumbs down on the idea of a skate feature at Myrtle. It’s still in the citywide Skatepark Plan and could resurface someday if money appeared from elsewhere, but for now, if the necessary approvals ensue, it’s going into the Delridge pot. First, the Parks Levy Oversight Committee will have to give its blessing; then, City Council approval, which also would be needed to seed the Delridge Skatepark funding with $500,000 saved from other Parks projects (first revealed at a Parks Board meeting last month). However, with the community support reiterated tonight — Pete Spalding spoke on behalf of the Delridge District Council and the Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council (he’s on the Levy Oversight Committee too), while Nancy Folsom spoke on behalf of the North Delridge Neighborhood Council – department leadership didn’t think that would be much of a problem. “Everybody’s blown away by how amazing the process has been,” Johnston noted. However, he called for one additional demonstration of community support: Fundraising. The site apparently can support a skatepark of up to 14,000 square feet; it’s being designed right now to 10,000 square feet because that’s what the original budget would have paid for, but Gallagher says $750,000 would buy 12,000 square feet. Perhaps the community could chip in enough to cover the rest of the way to 14K, Johnston suggested. West Seattleite Mike Shaughnessy – a former SPAC member – said he supports the maximum possible size for the skatepark, as he could imagine it becoming overcrowded quite quickly. Meantime, the design process continues – two meetings already have been held, and project manager Kelly Davidson said she hopes to schedule the third meeting soon. First, the money matters have to be worked out; Parks executive Kevin Stoops said the Levy Oversight Committee likely will be asked May 26 to consider the Myrtle-to-Delridge transfer. Also ahead in late May, Folsom said a Request for Proposals will be published for the art project that’s proposed to be built by the skatepark site at the northeast corner of the Delridge Community Center playfield/park. Though it’s not technically part of the skatepark, designers are working with art-project planners, Folsom said.

4 Replies to "Skatepark Committee backs moving money from Myrtle to Delridge"

  • MLJ May 12, 2009 (9:06 am)

    I’m actually the guy on the right!

    Thanks WSB for covering the meeting, and for keeping an watchful eye on the skatepark saga. Quality reporting as usual.


  • MLJ May 12, 2009 (9:07 am)

    Oh…I get it. Center. Left. Right.


  • WSB May 12, 2009 (9:17 am)

    No worries – while drafting it last night, I originally said “the guy in the hat” till I realized, the gentleman in the foreground was hatted too. Really enjoyed the way you guys conducted the meeting – there aren’t so many where you ask the “audience” to vote too – TR

  • Pete May 12, 2009 (11:24 am)

    Now these same folks need to turn out for the Levy Overisght Committee meeting to show this same community support when this comes up for a vote there.

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