Proposed indoor-tennis center among West Seattle projects receiving Department of Neighborhoods grants

(Rendering by Ryan Applegate)

The Department of Neighborhoods has just officially announced its latest list of “Small and Simple” grants, and one will give a boost to a group working toward building an indoor-tennis center on the former Denny International Middle School site west of Southwest Pool. First, the list of West Seattle projects receiving grants from among 28 citywide getting a total of $467,562 in matching funds:

… These awards are part of the Small and Simple Projects Fund, one of three funds offered by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. It provides cash awards of up to $25,000 in matching funds to community organizations committed to fostering and building a better community. The 2015 June awards range from $4,000 to $25,000, and the organizations pledge to match the City’s $467,562 investment with $600,132 of locally raised money, donated materials and volunteer labor. …

West Seattle Projects

· $24,400 to Chief Sealth Indoor Tennis to conduct a feasibility study and develop a conceptual plan for an indoor tennis center at the former Denny Middle School site. (Community match: $14,720)

· $25,000 to South Park Area Redevelopment Committee to create a design with public input, construction documents, and cost estimates to improve Duwamish Waterway Park. (Community match: $45,575)

· $21,395 to the West Seattle Time Bank to host 20 community events and workshops to promote timebanking and increase participation in West Seattle. (Community match: $22,840)

· $15,000 to Circulo de Mamas Seattle to convene 20 Latina mothers and community members to further develop their community leadership through culturally relevant training. (Community match: $25,550)

… The Small and Simple Projects Fund opens again for applications in September with a deadline of October 5. To learn more visit

Back to the proposed indoor-tennis center: The project has a Facebook page, with this note related to the grant: “This grant will pay for a feasibility study and concept design plan for the proposed Indoor Tennis Center. We’ll be selecting a design firm through a competitive process. Much research needs to be done on permitting requirements. When the design review is complete, we will be holding community meetings for input this fall.” A rendering on the page suggests it would be built in the area where outdoor tennis courts were built after the old school was demolished.

26 Replies to "Proposed indoor-tennis center among West Seattle projects receiving Department of Neighborhoods grants"

  • M July 27, 2015 (3:21 pm)

    That is AMAZING news. I’ve always felt that Seattle is really lacking on indoor tennis options. I’d really like to see this moved forward. I’d definitely be a customer.

  • Rod Clark July 27, 2015 (3:51 pm)

    They’ll have to tear it all down in a few years, at the expense of millions of wasted dollars, when the school district predictably runs out of middle and high school space in West Seattle, and needs to hurriedly rebuild Denny Middle School on that same land at the old Denny site.

    But next time, Denny can’t be a one story 950-student school. It’ll have to be a two or three story school of the capacity of Eckstein, because there are going to be that many new middle and high school students here in not very many years – watch the construction cranes. There won’t be room for both this indoor tennis palace and the new, larger school.

    This is the same thing that they did on the Sealth site, before the school district built the Denny extension there. They built tennis courts, and then predicatbly had to tear them down a few years later when they rebuilt the school, at the expense of 6 million wasted dollars. This will waste many more millions in taxes than those outdoor courts did.

    Find a more permanent place for your tennis fun palace. Don’t do this easy political grab and take valuable school space away from the children of West Seattle. They are going to desperately need it.

    Don’t keep robbing the school district just because doing it is like taking candy from a baby, and it feels so fun and rewarding for you to do that.

    Please don’t do this to us again.

  • AmandaKH July 27, 2015 (4:54 pm)

    I thought the site of the old Denny was set aside for a new elementary school?

  • Ll July 27, 2015 (5:12 pm)

    The proposed indoor tennis facility would cover the existing courts. The former Denny site is indeed being saved for a future elementary school. It lies east of the courts

  • Bruce July 27, 2015 (5:42 pm)

    This is great news! The West Seattle indoor tennis center will provide a much needed year-around recreation and competition venue for middle and high school students and people of all ages in West Seattle.

  • drahcir61 July 27, 2015 (6:24 pm)


  • MarkT July 27, 2015 (6:44 pm)

    More indoor tennis in Seattle would be fantasic!

  • Kathy July 27, 2015 (6:49 pm)

    Congratulations! What a great community project that will benefit all!

  • Kevin July 27, 2015 (7:53 pm)

    This is great! What are the chances that this could be expanded to a racquet club where there is also space for racquetball / other racquet sports, a pro shop, a place to do racquet stringing, etc.?

  • LJ July 27, 2015 (8:00 pm)

    This could be a game-changer for West Seattle. Thanks to all the people who are working hard to make this a reality.

  • Rick July 27, 2015 (8:25 pm)

    Yes, this is yet another “need” to serve the majority.

  • Brad July 27, 2015 (8:54 pm)

    This is terrific news.

  • Ethan July 27, 2015 (11:29 pm)

    This is fantastic news!!

    How do we make it happen?

  • brian July 28, 2015 (7:06 am)

    Losing free outdoor courts in order to make way for pay to play indoor courts isn’t a great deal.

  • wsnorth July 28, 2015 (7:49 am)

    This would be totally awesome, but there are also just not enough courts overall!

  • wscommuter July 28, 2015 (8:52 am)

    @Brian … We have a lot of outdoor courts (LP, Hiawatha, Alki, White Center, etc.) … but reality is that we have to drive to Amy Yee or Sandpoint for indoor courts. W. Sea should have an indoor tennis facility so that we can play year round without the hassle of driving across town. My two cents.

  • Nancy Standifer July 28, 2015 (10:20 am)

    This is GREAT news and very needed! The “rainy city” is severely lacking indoor tennis options. No question that these courts will get used – a lot!

  • Alex July 28, 2015 (12:00 pm)

    Totally Agree with wscommuter, would lose some outdoor free courts but gain indoors of which there are none to my knowledge in WS. Less travel come fall

  • brian July 28, 2015 (3:02 pm)

    @wscommuter & @Alex – I didn’t say that building indoor courts in ws is a bad idea. I simply stated that losing free outdoor courts is a bad deal. The lincoln park courts were closed years ago, Alki and Hiawatha only have 2 courts each. Who said that we have to give up outdoor courts in order to get indoor courts. I think we need more tennis courts in total, indoor and outdoor. Why does their have to be a limit on how many total courts are available.

  • brian July 28, 2015 (3:03 pm)

    we also need a velodrome!

  • Lesa July 28, 2015 (5:47 pm)

    This is great news! As others have noted, West Seattle tennis courts are used to capacity during warm weather months. These covered courts will greatly expand the opportunities for year-round recreation.

  • what'sthat? July 28, 2015 (7:13 pm)

    Lincoln Park courts are below the P-Patch Brian. White Center Park courts are open. Highland Park has a single court. Haiwatha courts were neglected forever until the last few years.

    Until people have actual data regarding actual usage each court is getting, then this conversation is a waste of time Brian. That is part of the reason why research is needed.

    But I will suggest that surfacing costs for year-round exposed courts and maintenance misc adds more money Brian. Not complicated. It took many many years for Parks to resurface some of these courts.

  • anonyme July 29, 2015 (8:34 am)

    I pass the courts every day, and I’ve seen them in use twice in two years. Just an observation…

  • Lisa July 29, 2015 (2:55 pm)

    Outdoor courts: Lincoln Park 6. Alki 2. Lowman Beach 1. Hiawatha 3. Delridge 2. High Point 2. Riverview 2. Highland Park 1. White Center 4. Total: 23 not including SWAC. South Seattle Community College 2 (for students yes)

  • Rod Clark July 30, 2015 (9:24 am)

    This is the spot where one of the two Denny portables stood, before they tore down the old buildings.

    The school district has said that they plan to build an elementary school at this site. But potential middle school sites are scarcer than elementary school sites are. The old Denny site is still as appropriate a place for a middle school at it was in 1952 – 2012, right next to the extensive athletic fields.

    There’s a bulge of students who will be of middle school age in a few years, currently housed in a large number of elementary school portables.

    From 2008-2012, grade 6-8 students living in the Denny area grew from 1093 to 1110 (up 117), and in the Madison area from 658 to 768 (up 110).

    But during the same years, K-5 students living in the Denny area grew from 2239 to 2723 (up 484) and from 1649 to 2075 in the Madison area (up 426). That was an increase of 910 K-5 students. Cut that 910 in half because K-5 encompasses 6 grades and the middle school numbers are for only 3 grades, so there were about 455 more middle school students living in West Seattle in 2012 than in 2008.

    Proportionately more middle school students attend private schools than in K-5, and some were at Washington MS, so let’s say there were about 400 more 6-8 students in 2012 than in 2008, an increase of about 100 students per year.

    Add on another two years of this K-5 bulge for 2013 and 2014 (I can’t find more recent figures on the new SPS Web site), and space is beginning to get crowded. And this is going to continue for a while. The district will need to build more middle school space. The old Denny site is one of the best available locations, and probably should be the leading site choice in the southern WS area.

    This same K-5 bulge will reach the high schools a few years after it reaches the middle schools, and Sealth will need to annex the current Denny campus to house its own coming bulge of high school students.

    That spot of ground where the old portable sat, and that is now the outdoor tennis courts, is prime territory to be part of the new, larger Denny Middle School that we’ll need. When that happens, the outdoor courts will have to be torn down. If the indoor courts get built, they too will have to be torn down to make enough room for the size of the school needed. This won’t be very many years away.

  • Rod Clark July 30, 2015 (10:54 am)

    A mistake in my numbers: 2008 – 2012 is five school years, not four. So it would have been an increase of about 80, not 100, middle school students per year in West Seattle – let’s say about 40 per year each for Denny and Madison.

    With those steady increases over the past 7 years, several hundred more middle school seats will be needed for next fall than in 2008. If the demographic trends hold up, and it looks like they will, another few hundred MS students will need space by the early 2020s. By then, we will have gained the equivalent of another entire middle school since 2008.

    This is why it’s overly optimistic to plan to occupy the Denny site with a smaller elementary school building that, for the good of tennis players everywhere, could sacrifice some of its playground space for a tennis bulding. No such space reduction will be possible for the middle school.

    The school district’s elementary school plans for the Denny site will not survive the coming onrush of demographic reality. Seattle’s city planners haven’t yet realized how out of touch the school district’s planners have been about this.

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