12:01 PM: Thanks to everybody who tipped us on this (and thanks to Lorraine for the photo)! Fencing is up around Lincoln Park’s north play area by the wading pool so that construction can begin on the renovation project. We reported last fall/winter on community discussions during planning for the work; after we contacted Seattle Parks to ask about it today, project manager Katie Bang told WSB that signage is going up this week, adding: “The project was awarded to LW Sundstrum Inc, who has worked on many Seattle Parks and Recreation play areas as well as other play areas around the area. The contractor will begin work at the cable ride. This was an additive alternate that was discussed in the public meetings that we were hoping to fund and were able to do so! He also will be removing and recycling the old play equipment materials. The work is scheduled to be complete by the end of October. The wading pool and shelter 5 will remain open during construction.” You can see images of the new equipment on the project website, which notes that the $600,000 cost is from the Seattle Park District levy.
1:35 PM: You might recall that during the planning period, we reported on a group of Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) students sharing ideas they had been promoting for “accessible” play areas. We asked Bang if any of those ideas made it into the final project:
We have integrated some of the ideas from the 8 students from Explorer West into the design of the renovated play area at Lincoln Park along with all of the other public input.
In our conversations with the middle school students and other community members, we emphasized that the Lincoln Park North play area was probably not the location for a “state of the art” play area for children in the autism spectrum for the following reasons: lack of ADA compliant restroom, lack of ADA compliant parking and compliant pathways in Lincoln Park, the size of the play area, and overall budget.
However, as part of this current project, we are making the play equipment and the immediate area of the play area ADA compliant and we have incorporated some nice features that will appeal to children on the autism spectrum as well as all users. A few of these features include the tactile sand play area which features an accessible play table, tactile rocks, many ground element features of the play equipment are accessible, an accessible group swing, and an accessible cable ride.