Story and photo by Jonathan Stumpf
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Two design options for the Fairmount Playfield playground were revealed tonight at the second public meeting about the project.
A small group convened at the High Point Library, where Parks Department employees Pamela Alspaugh and Kelly Davidson unveiled two design plans for the playground. The finalized plans are the result of the December meeting that we covered here, with suggestions made about the feel of the playground and what features were important to residents.
Davidson, the project manager, briefly discussed the two designs, emphasizing the important takeaways from the December meeting, specifically that the playground should have a “natural feel,” “allow for imaginary play” and something “iconic should be included that will bring people to the park.”
Alspaugh revealed the two plans:
The centerpiece of each is a custom-designed boat for children, two- to five-year-olds in mind, inspired by discussion at the first meeting. For a localized feel, the boat, designed by local company and WSB sponsor PlayCreation, was modeled after Washington State Ferries, complete with smokestack and the recognizable green and white coloring. And for the five- to 10-year-olds, a 17-foot tall Macro Spacenet will be installed at the north end of the playground. One resident commented that the ferry really needs more than just stairs to get on and off, and said they should consider a slide. Alspaugh agreed, saying “You are right on.” Watch for that addition in the final design.
The first design would cost $30,000 – $40,000 more than the other one and also would include a larger cement plaza on the west side of the playground with three benches, a large blue rubber “wave” on one side of the ferry, and a beach/sandbox on the other side. Additionally, exclusive to this plan is nine sweetgrass shade trees, turning-point balls (they cost $5,000 each) and chimes.
Alspaugh confidently said that since five other park projects had come in under budget and because the Fairmount project was one of the least-funded with the levy, she feels they have a good chance to get the additional funding for the design with the beach and rubber wave. Should the funding not be provided, the second design will not have the beach or rubber wave — instead the playground will be all wood chips — and the plaza with extra benches will instead be just a small path. Both designs will be ADA-accessible and have a four-swing set at the the north end and include a whirl (think small carousel) and see-saw.
Davidson said they will post the two designs on the project’s website next week (we’ll be trying for digital copies to show you sooner) and will accept public comments during the internal review, which goes through the end of January. Suggestions and comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.