Madison Middle School’s athletic-field overhaul plan taking shape

(WSB photo – Madison field seen thrugh south-side fence)

One of the local Seattle Public Schools projects funded by the voter-approved BEX V levy is taking shape. A document recently filed with the city outlines the plan for overhauling the athletic field at Madison Middle School (3429 45th SW), replacing the grass with artificial turf, and adding lighting, to expand the field’s usability. Here’s the “project design narrative”:

(If you can’t read it above, here’s a direct link in PDF.) Toplines from the document: The early-stage plan would widen the field by six and a half feet, replacing 64,000 square feet of grass with 66,350 square feet of synthetic turf. It would also add lighting, via six 70-foot-high poles. The district estimated the cost earlier this year at %2.7 million; the new document says the district hopes to do the project in two phases – turf next summer, lighting next fall.

34 Replies to "Madison Middle School's athletic-field overhaul plan taking shape"

  • Nicole December 29, 2019 (6:43 pm)

    Wow, this is super!   Although I’m sure many dog owning neighbors are going to complain.  

    • Wha? December 29, 2019 (9:09 pm)

      The dog owners can complain all they want it’s not a dog park. And I’m hoping once the turf gets put in they don’t treat it as such. It’s ridiculous that people think these parks are their own personal dog park.

  • Frog December 29, 2019 (7:06 pm)

    The document says they will use “cork and sand” as infill for the artificial turf.  I hope that means no crumb rubber.  The field at Hundley smells like an oil refinery on a hot summer day, and it can’t be good for the kids playing.

    • Mike December 30, 2019 (8:54 am)

      The fields at SWAC were recently replaced with the cork and sand turf.  It seems as if the crumb rubber turf is not being used anymore.

  • wsres December 29, 2019 (7:34 pm)

    Madison dog park is what we call it now… 

  • B vadakin December 29, 2019 (10:23 pm)

    Woo hoo!!!

    • Mariem December 29, 2019 (11:16 pm)

      Maybe soon people will stop using this space for an off leash dog park! The kids deserve to have a field for athletics and play without stepping in you know what, and having dogs chase them.  

  • Nick December 30, 2019 (3:01 am)

    I hope this might open up the future possibility of West Seattle playing their home football games there instead of having to go all the way to SWAC to play their “home” games on Sealth’s field ever since O’Dea fully took over West Seattle Stadium. They would just need to do a bit more construction to install some spectator stands, bathrooms, etc.

  • Guilty dog owner December 30, 2019 (6:44 am)

    Removing the fence completely – except for along 47th where it would be unsafe – will fix the dog problem. The gates are never locked anyway and the fence is incomplete so it doesn’t really do any good in terms of containing students. However it does do a good job of keeping dogs within the realm of the park and makes it a secure place for us. Removing the fence and opening it up to the sidewalks on the sides at  Spokane and Hinds would make it much less inviting to dog owners and perhaps make it feel more open to families. Please consider this parks and SPS.

    • zark00 December 30, 2019 (9:53 am)

      How about you just take your dogs to actual dog parks?  Why do you require physical changes to the park infrastructure to deter you from being an entitled jerk and misusing something that is literally made for for children.  Dog owners who steal the Madison play-field and Fairmount park as their own personal off leash runs should really be ashamed of themselves.  They aren’t ashamed, of course, they are just completely entitled, selfish, people who don’t care that they are ruining the parks for everyone but themselves.  They REALLY don’t care – talk to one, any of them, you’ll be lucky if they don’t just start swearing at you.I’ve seen the same woman many times with her doberman off leash at Fairmount.  The dog may be fine but it’s very large and families with 4 year olds just can’t risk it – they leave the playfield when she shows up and she does not care.  She feels that she is entitled to use it regardless of the law; and that it is effectively her personal off leash dog park. 

      • Manderley December 31, 2019 (12:06 pm)

        Zark00, thank you for stating the obvious about dog owners.  They seem to think the entire world is just one big toilet for their dog :-(

      • Calires December 31, 2019 (10:02 pm)

        I’m a life long dog owner and I don’t believe in having dogs off leash other than on your own (fenced) property.  I’ve seen some horrible things happen at dog parks with oblivious owners so I don’t visit them.  That said, nothing compares to what I’ve seen from my home over the last 10 years which is on the route of kids going to and from Madison Middle School.  If any of these parents think their kids are at more risk from dogs on the school grounds after hours than from a lot of the other kids they encounter each day, you need to shoot some video of these little darlings when mommy and daddy aren’t around.

    • neighbor January 1, 2020 (6:16 pm)

      Thanks for your honesty, Guilty Dog Owner. Sorry you got bashed for it. I’m curious: Would turf dissuade you from using the field for dogs? Or is it only that the increase in game frequency would lessen being able to use it to run dogs? I don’t have a dog so don’t know. Thanks!

  • Rick December 30, 2019 (6:58 am)

    What exactly does “voter approved” mean around here anymore?

    • Brian December 30, 2019 (9:09 am)

      I followed links already provided in this article and landed here: residents were given a levy to vote on and they passed it with 69% of voters approving of the funding measure. Also, note that this levy was a replacement measure for an expiring levy and not an additional tax.

  • Rick December 30, 2019 (9:41 am)

    Thanks. I’m not too well versed on technical stuff.

  • neighbor December 30, 2019 (11:00 am)

    Can the public comment at any time? I live on the perimeter, so am sweating the light impact.

  • jk December 30, 2019 (1:36 pm)

    I am surprised no one has commented on the 70ft lights which if I am reading the document correctly still require an exception to residential lighting standards.  Given the location on the upslope of the schmitz/madison valley, I would think this would be a bigger concern to local homeowners.

    • Mariem December 30, 2019 (6:20 pm)

      As long as the lights are off by a reasonable hour on weeknights ( later on weekends) what is the problem? The reality is sports are played after dark and lights are needed. I’d be more worried about a huge dark field with seemingly no purpose which is what exists now.

      • neighbor December 31, 2019 (10:27 am)

        Mariem do you live on the perimeter of the field?

        • Mariem January 1, 2020 (1:28 am)

          I live 8 blocks away and have a child at Madison. Interested to hear more than your question and instead your point of view if you are on the perimeter…..but if you like I’ll list my questions here….

    • sheesh January 1, 2020 (8:18 am)

      Local home owner here: big fan of the lights, happy as a clam.  The people doing the work are aware of sky glow and light spill concerns, and have reasonable responses to those concerns (you did read the actual proposal, right?).

    • tedb310 January 1, 2020 (6:43 pm)

      Those concerned about lighting impacts should go see the new lights that Blanchet High installed on their field.  West Seattle has yet to get this technology installed on any of it’s fields, but it is my understanding that Parks and Seattle Public Schools is now using these type of lights.  There is virtually no light spill.  All light is directed to the fields, its amazing.

      • neighbor January 1, 2020 (7:20 pm)

        Cool, thanks!!

  • M.G. December 31, 2019 (6:57 am)

    If West Seattle police would do their job and ticket the off leash entitled jerks we wouldn’t have to worry about it.  Let the kids play on clean fields.  While the police are at it have them stop at the High Point park and ticket those entitled as well..

  • suebhounz December 31, 2019 (12:50 pm)

    Tell you what Zark00,you find us an area large enough for an off leash park in the north end of west seattle and I will never again go to the madison field. Until you do……….

    • sheesh January 1, 2020 (8:12 am)

      Um, if having an off leash dog park is that important to you then why the hell do you both own a dog and live in the north end of west seattle?  The obvious solution for people like you is to either not live here or, realizing there isn’t a dog park NOT GET A DOG IN THE FIRST PLACE.  I mean really, the level of entitlement here is just off the charts.  

      • suebhounz January 2, 2020 (5:13 pm)

        so that would mean that 20 years ago when there were no dog parks, no one should have owned a dog in seattle?

        • sheesh January 2, 2020 (6:52 pm)

          No, that’s not at all what it means. 

          This is about you, personally, and how critically important you think it is that you have access to a local, off-leash dog park.  I mean you think it so important that you regularly break the law.  So given that this is such a huge priority for you, um, maybe you should live near one then?

          Think about it this way: say I love dirt bikes.  I live in Admiral.  I buy a dirt bike.  It’s great, I love it, but the thing about dirt bikes is they really need a lot of open space for riding.  So I start riding it around Madison, through Schmitz park, etc.  Someone points out this is maybe not such a good idea, and I respond the way you did: “Tell you what […], you find an area large enough for a dirt bike park in the north end of West Seattle and I will never again go to the Madison field.  Until you do………”

          You have got to see how preposterous that sounds, right?


  • WS5 December 31, 2019 (6:38 pm)

    As a neighbor very close to the field (4 houses away)I will welcome lighting we are seeing more crime in the area,  anything to denture that is good in my book. Plus I can go walk on these early nights in winter safely. I am also a dog owner who never takes their dog to the field. My kids played soccer there and always had to whip dog messes off their cleats.

  • Mariem January 1, 2020 (1:31 am)

    suebhounz: But that field is NOT a dog park….it was created for the students.If a dog park in n West Seattle needs to be established that’s a different issue. The students and children are entitled to this space. NOT the dogs. Not you with your dog.

    • suebhounz January 2, 2020 (3:09 pm)

      so if i’m reading you correctly, the school building and surrounding area are only supposed to be available to students and children 24/7? So that should eliminate the church on sunday mornings because that includes adults; all the adults who run on the track daily; the adults who fly model airplanes and drones all over the field; the kids and adults who ride their bikes on both the track and field area; the adults who use the basketball courts; etc. I am a direct neighbor of the school and see no reason why I should not be able to run my dogs there if I pick up my dogs poop and don’t let them bother anyone else. I pay taxes that help pay for the schools and fields and am entitled to use that space in particular when no one else is there.

      • neighbor January 2, 2020 (7:11 pm)

        Suebhounz, for many years now there have been several signs around the field saying no dogs, cats, or potbellied pigs on the property. I believe that’s a city law. And I’m pretty sure that goes for 24/7, not just when school’s in session. And you can be fined for it. So while you may feel entitled, you actually are not. Please also consider that dogs are frightening to some people, some of whom have been attacked by strange dogs before. I hear both sides. But the signs are there and the law is on the side of NO dogs. Any dogs on the field are quite simply tolerated by others. Who technically, legally, do not have to tolerate such things and could report you and your dogs. 

  • neighbor January 1, 2020 (6:24 pm)

    I’m wondering why your instinct is to gripe about people on the perimeter simply wanting to know more. I didn’t say I oppose this change. I’m seeking information and an opportunity to comment/ask questions as a property owner and immediate neighbor who uses the field regularly, and not for dogs, which I don’t own. Peace to you in 2020.

Sorry, comment time is over.