West Seattle, Washington
(SPU photo inside West Seattle Reservoir in May 2010, not long before it was filled)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Only four years after it went into service, the underground West Seattle Reservoir in Highland Park needs a $7.6 million earthquake-resistance retrofit.
Work will start this summer, while the city and its consultants determine the scope of retrofitting that is also expected for our area’s other underground water facility, Myrtle Reservoir in Gatewood, as well as for two others in the city, Beacon and Maple Leaf.
We talked today with Seattle Public Utilities and its consultants about the problem, the solution, and the work ahead.
This was foreshadowed a year and a half ago; we made note of it here in November 2012, following up after The Seattle Times (WSB partner) broke the news that the reservoirs’ designer, MWH, had told the city about what SPU calls “possible seismic deficiencies in their work.” SPU subsequently announced that testing would be done to find out about those potential deficiencies and what would be needed to remedy them.
They didn’t expect the testing would take as long as it did. West Seattle Reservoir is the first one for which a seismic review has been finished and a retrofit plan laid out.
Sundog over West Seattle? Thanks to David Hutchinson (above) and Don Brubeck (below), frequent and much-appreciated WSB community contributors, for sharing the photos of what we think was a sunset sundog – one of the phenomena discussed in Alice Enevoldsen‘s “Skies Over West Seattle” a year ago.
Unusual cloud formations, too – any help identifying them would be welcome!
That’s a rendering of what proprietor Phil Gustavson says the sign will look like when he opens the West Seattle School of Rock on the outer east side of Jefferson Square in The Junction. Gustavson says he’s signed the lease for the space next door to Dream Dinners (WSB sponsor) at 4701 41st SW, Suite 120. School of Rock is an international chain of music schools that teach guitar, bass, vocals, keyboards, and drums, with lessons leading to performances. In this metro area, it has branches in Greenwood and Bellevue. Gustavson isn’t estimating an opening date yet, saying it depends mostly on how long it takes to get permits.
(TOPLINE: ‘Low bridge’ reopened just after 7:30 pm; ‘malfunction’ had closed it since just after 5 pm)
5:29 PM: Thanks to commenters on our daily traffic-watch story for first word on this around 5:15 pm – SDOT confirms that the “low bridge” is currently malfunctioning and closed to vehicle/pedestrian traffic. We’ve added a “live” picture from SDOT’s traffic cams – you can see the bicycle riders/pedestrians waiting, and it looks like there’s a relatively slight gap in the bridge.
ADDED 5:50 PM: Still out of service, no update from SDOT. Jason shared the photo we’ve added above, showing bicycle riders who were waiting before it was apparent this situation wasn’t ending quickly.
6:35 PM: We talked with an SDOT rep who said a mechanic has headed to the bridge but they don’t have an ETA yet – they’re promising updates.
(Some of the bikes on the 5:45 Water Taxi; photo by Brian O’Mara)
Meantime, your editor here just took the Water Taxi home from downtown; at least a few bicycle riders had diverted upon hearing about the bridge, but there was still room on the run – 6:45 pm is the last scheduled run from downtown to West Seattle.
7:37 PM: SDOT has just reopened the bridge after the 2 1/2-hour closure. While running electrical tests this past hour or so, they allowed bicycle riders and pedestrians through a few times, we’re told.
Quick update from the city Municipal Tower downtown: The city Landmarks Preservation Board has just voted to approve the nomination of Charlestown Court, the brick fourplex at 3811 California SW, as a potential city landmark. A consultant hired by its owners – who want to demolish it and replace it with eight townhouses – said they don’t think it merits landmark status, a decision reached by the board six years ago when another demolition/redevelopment proposal was pending. (Since more than five years have passed, city reps explained, a new review was warranted.) Today’s vote sets the stage for a final vote on August 6th.
Thanks to our Arbor Heights Elementary parent correspondent for sharing that photo from today’s 5th-grade graduation ceremony. The final graduate of the last 5th-grade class at “Original Arbor Heights,” as our tipster dubs it, was Max Zuber. The building is scheduled for demolition in late summer or fall, as per the construction schedule laid out at a community meeting two weeks ago. Tomorrow is the last day of classes there, as is the case all around the Seattle Public Schools district.
We’re continuing the countdown to Saturday’s Morgan Junction Community Festival, in and around Morgan Junction Park. We’ve already published info about:
Today – we start a two-day look at the three-dozen-plus organizations and businesses (including us!) you’ll see tabling/boothing at the Morgan festival. First, the nonprofits/schools you’ll see there – a great chance to find out more about what they do beyond the events and meetings we feature here (we’ve linked their websites to their names below, if you want to check them out ahead of time)
*34th District Democrats
*Emergency Preparedness: Community Hubs
*Friends of Morgan Junction Parks
*Furry Faces Foundation
*Morgan Community Association (festival organizers/presenters!)
*South Seattle College
*Southwest Seattle Historical Society
*West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network
*West Seattle Food Bank
*West Seattle Garden Tour
Tomorrow – the rest of the “vendors” list, mostly local businesses. So go for the community information, go for the food, go for the fun, just get to California/Fauntleroy (the festival venues are in the parking lot of Zeeks Pizza/Feedback Lounge right at the corner, Morgan Junction Park to the north on California, and Washington Federal on the east side of California, plus the benefit barbecue at West Seattle Thriftway) – 10:30 am-7 pm (if you want to check out vendors, don’t wait till the last minute, as some start clearing out after 5).
In our tradition of disclosure: WSB sponsors mentioned in this story are South Seattle College, The Kenney, West Seattle Thriftway, Feedback Lounge, Zeeks Pizza.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske has a plan for tomorrow – the last day of Seattle Public Schools classes – and he told the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council about it last night during the WSCPC meeting at Lincoln Park.
That and other toplines ahead:
LANDMARK HEARING FOR CHARLESTOWN COURT: As reported here two weeks ago, the Landmarks Preservation Board meeting at 3:30 pm today includes consideration of a landmark nomination for Charlestown Court, the West Seattle brick fourplex that was rejected for landmark status six years ago.
It was to be partly preserved in a development proposal that since stalled; now, it’s proposed for demolition, and this review is a precursor. Today’s meeting is on the 40th floor of the city Municipal Tower, open to all, including a public-comment period. (700 5th Avenue)
BENEFIT DINNER TO GO: 5-6 pm pickup tonight, dinner to go benefiting the Fauntleroy Children’s Center Relay for Life team, as noted here on Tuesday – e-mail (info in that link) ASAP to see if they still are accepting orders! (9131 California SW)
FAMILY FRIENDLY TENNIS: 6 pm tonight at the Solstice Park courts, it’s the first session of USTA Family Friendly Tennis (WSB sponsor), a new program offering families the chance to learn/practice/play together regardless of divergent skill levels – no minimum number of sessions required, check it out once or multiple times! – read about it here. (7400 Fauntleroy Way SW)
DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOODS DISTRICT COUNCIL: 7 pm tonight at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, with Seattle Public Utilities projects at the heart of the agenda, including the Natural Drainage System raingardens plan for 17th SW, as reported here last week. All welcome. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
LOTS MORE … on our calendar!
Thanks to proud mom Regina Arceo-Schulz for sharing big news about her sons’ latest rowing achievement:
The Schulz brothers, Spencer (18) and J.T. (16), both from West Seattle, won the 2014 US Youth National Men’s Lightweight Doubles in Lake Natoma, California last Sunday, June 15.
Congratulations! You can see the full results here.
(Cart awaiting missing book; photos courtesy Cheryl Sullivan)
Tomorrow is the last day of classes for Seattle Public Schools – and among the loose ends to be tied up before that last bell sounds, administrators are trying to get students to bring back school-owned materials. At Chief Sealth International High School, assistant principal Cheryl Sullivan says, “We currently have more than $47,000 in lost/ outstanding books and fines that we are desperately trying to recoup. That includes almost 400 math books alone.” And yes, there’s a price for not returning something – she explains:
Current and former students of Chief Sealth International High School are being requested to bring and return all library and/or textbooks to the school this week. Our current 5th period classes are having a bit of a friendly competition to see who can clear their accounts fastest. As a reminder to families, students will be unable to participate in athletics, overnight field trips, dances, and other extra-curricular activities in the 14-15 school year if they have overdue/lost books and/or fines on their student account. Questions regarding individual student accounts may be directed to Cheryl Sullivan, Assistant Principal, at 206-252-8708 or by e-mail to email@example.com.
Optimally, families will find these items and get them back by the end of school tomorrow. If you turn something up over the course of the summer, Sullivan says she’s planning to spend a day or two at Westwood in mid-August to collect items. Here are some of the notices up about who owes what:
But even if your student goes to another school, taking one more look around for anything to return will doubtlessly be appreciated; we suspect Sullivan’s sentiment applies elsewhere: “As everyone knows, we don’t have much by way of materials budgets any longer; any books located and returned would be much appreciated.”
(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
So far, no news is good news – no trouble reported in or outbound from West Seattle.
REMINDER – NORTHBOUND 99 WEEKEND CLOSURE: Now that the weekend is back in view, time to rev up the reminding again. From 10 pm Friday night (June 20th) until early Monday morning, Northbound 99 will be closed between the West Seattle Bridge and north end of downtown as WSDOT continues re-aligning the roadway west of the stadiums, as explained here. This will coincide on Saturday 6/21 with northbound 99 – and other roads – being used for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon (which has many other closures – see the full list here).
7:58 PM NOTE: The low-bridge problem from earlier (covered in a separate story) is fixed, and the bridge is back to regular operations, after a 2 1/2-hour shutdown.