Roxhill Park Playground: New castle, climbing dome, and – you?

For all the public meetings that participants have characterized as “the (host department/agency/officials) made up their mind before they came to talk to us,” last night’s final design meeting for the Roxhill Park Playground overhaul, like the first two, has worked the other way. The first two meetings yielded such strong sentiments about the current wooden “castle” structure at the park, which is being replaced because Seattle Parks says it’s at the end of its lifespan (that part is not open for debate), that project managers went to its designer to ask about a replacement.

It’s not a replica, and it’s not as big, but the main structure in the resulting proposal by Leathers and Associates won strong support last night for incorporation into the project. The photo above is from one of six layouts – mostly returnees from previous meetings – that Parks brought along. Another feature that was even more strongly favored – a climbing dome:

If you want to get a firsthand look at a similar dome, there’s one at Golden Gardens in Ballard, it was noted. Those in attendance last night just barely made it into the two-digit range – but two children were there, including 8-year-old Gabe, who voiced a vote for this castle alternative (in case the one at the top turns out to be too expensive):

(By the way, the tree stays, also by popular demand.) Speaking of cost, one key may be public involvement. Parks’ Kelly Davidson and Shwu-jen Hwang explained that Leathers and Associates prefers its creations to be “community-built” – as was the current Roxhill castle – but will provide a contractor if needed, adding about $25,000 to the cost. So if their structure makes it into the final design, there may be a campaign to round up 70-80 community volunteers to build it some weekend next summer – though Parks made it clear, that has to be a community-organized campaign. Another possible cost-saving measure: Incorporate “little kid” features to the side of the Leathers-built structure, instead of adding an extra structure off to the side, and reduce concrete features such as “seating walls.”

As for additional features beyond the play structure and dome, that depends on how the numbers crunch out, according to Parks – swings for sure, though. They are taking last night’s input and starting work to come up with a final design proposal – no more meetings are scheduled but you are welcome to send your thoughts (the sooner the better) to (And keep an eye on the project website.) If the schedule proceeds as planned, this would go to bid next spring and be built next summer (along with the neighboring skatespot, whose final design meeting was 2 weeks ago.)

1 Reply to "Roxhill Park Playground: New castle, climbing dome, and - you?"

  • mcbride December 1, 2011 (1:19 pm)

    Leathers and Associates will furnish the construction supervisors, and the community can partner to add another 25 thousand dollars back into the budget (and 25k builds a Lot of park). We need 70-80 volunteers, and the deadline for volunteer confirmation is end of December (30 days). I just got news that with volunteer construction, this project may qualify for a Neighborhood Matching Funds grant from the Department of Neighborhoods, which could double that money again. Huge. What this means is that specific design elements or extra pieces which were eliminated due to budget can be added back in.
    The Delridge Neighborhoods District Council currently has the lead on the volunteer end of this project (playground area Only), but it would be fantastic to have the Westwood Neighborhood Council take the helm. If you have an interest in volunteering for or taking a leadership position in this project, please email
    Roxhill park has a long history of partnership with the community. I’m hoping the tradition continues. Thanks.

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