1 more week to comment on West Seattle HS Athletic Field Improvement Project

(Rendering, from page 32 of ‘checklist’ document)

One more West Seattle High School sports note today: One more week to comment on the levy-funded Athletic Field Improvement Project‘s environmental checklist. The document describes the project as follows:

SPS is proposing to add a batting cage and conduct other field improvements at West Seattle High School. The proposal includes improvements to the existing south field area located at the northwest corner of the SW Hanford Street / 42nd Avenue SW intersection, south of the school. The field improvements would be used by high school sports teams as well as PE students. The project would convert the existing natural grass athletic field to a new synthetic turf field constructed with natural cork and sand infill. This would involve excavation to 1-foot and installation of a drainage system. A prefabricated batting cage with roof would be installed with 3 batting stations on the west side of the field. The batting cage structure would be approximately 3,900 square feet, consisting of roughly 78 feet long by 50 feet wide by 17 feet tall. The batting cage would be for school use only and would be locked at 10 p.m. during the school year. The new facilities are not expected to be used for Seattle Parks’ activities nor by the general public. It would have lighting inside the batting cage during use and 24-hour exterior security lighting. The field would not be lighted. There would be no changes to parking and access.

You can see the “checklist” – actually a 37-page document – by going here. Comment deadline is 5 pm next Monday, July 13th, and yu can send yours to SEPAcomments@seattleschools.org.

13 Replies to "1 more week to comment on West Seattle HS Athletic Field Improvement Project"

  • Don July 6, 2020 (11:17 am)

    hope a new field will keep the dog owners from claiming as an open leash area.  Signs and a gate failed in that endeavor previously. 

    • zark00 July 6, 2020 (2:43 pm)

      agree 100%.  Off leash dogs and their inconsiderate owners have completely taken over the Fairmount play-field. “Dogs are not allowed at any time on organized athletic fields, beaches, or children’s play areas in Seattle parks, per the Seattle Municipal Code. Dogs must be on a leash at all times, unless inside the boundaries of our designated off-leash areas.”Seattle dog owners absolutely do not care about laws or rules though.

    • comment July 6, 2020 (2:56 pm)

      I was thinking the same thing, I love dogs but I don’t know about my kid rolling around in the grass where they’ve been poopin…

    • Russ July 6, 2020 (3:52 pm)

      Doesn’t stop dog owners using Lafayette Elementary either. Plenty of signage that goes completely disregarded. There was even a guy coming (pre-COVID) with his dog after 10pm at night and locking the gates using his own locks to have the playground to himself for playing fetch off leash. Thankfully the school has kept the playground gates locked the last several months, even though some kids manage to climb the fences routinely.

  • Michael July 6, 2020 (11:39 am)

    I believe there is a typo in the original document.  I imagine they meant the northeast corner of the SW Hanford Street / 42nd Avenue SW intersection.

  • Sue T. July 6, 2020 (12:26 pm)

    I don’t know. Considering the field is used by PE students all school year, and high school baseball season runs only three months, a permanent 3,900 square foot roofed batting cage seems like an excessive appropriation of limited field space.

    • wessyde July 6, 2020 (1:57 pm)

      Have you seen students “using the field” all year for PE (or anything)? I haven’t seen anyone use the field other than someone running their dog on it.  Given that I don’t spend a lot of time monitoring the fields usage, so perhaps you have a better vision of that then I when I stop by this part of the school occasionally and see empty field, even when school is in session.  Perhaps I’ve always just missed when PE is in session.  But if it is used by PE, I’m betting the students and teachers would find this remodel far more usable than the current state, even if the open playing surface is reduced by the cages.I think the space is not optimally utilized and this project will change that, serving a bunch of different sports. It makes that piece of property so much more usable by students.  The baseball teams needs these cages to be able to compete in the Metro league where all the other teams have like facilities or better, and the baseball team has nothing save a broken cage that they have scheduling conflicts with all the time. Additionally these cages can serve the softball team.   West Seattle High School definitely lags behind other Metro League public schools when it comes to athletic facilities its students can use to develop, which is a shame given it’s history of great teams the school has produced.All the best and stay safe in these difficult times.

  • JU July 6, 2020 (1:33 pm)

    As a a WSHS coach (FB, softball) I know that batting cages are a much needed resource; especially covered ones (Y’all know how rainy spring is in Seattle). Besides baseball, there’s two seasons of softball (Slowpitch in the fall, fastpitch in the spring). Field space is terribly limited at WSHS, But that narrow strip doesn’t accommodate full-size activities anyway. It gets used for drills, walk-throughs, PE activities, etc. I’m thankful for the hard work that has been done to make this project a reality. 

    • Anne July 6, 2020 (2:05 pm)

      Great to hear from you coach-someone  with first hand experience-who can speak to  the importance of those batting cages! By the way—THANKS!

  • Brandon July 6, 2020 (8:58 pm)

    Another use of batting cage is that they also serve as pitching cages.  We have two state champion little league teams entering high school so the quality of play will be fun to watch. 

  • Robert July 7, 2020 (5:22 pm)

    ’m all for community projects and places for kids to participate in sports.  But at first glance and thought,  this could have a big impact on noise on homes at the South end of Hanford/42nd/41st.  The report states   Maximum permissible sound levels in residential communities are not to exceed 55 A-weighted decibels (dB(A)s)It goes on to say    This expanded duration of use would cause a minor increase in sound from human voices and the crack of bats in the immediate vicinity. Increases in noise would be short-term and would not violate noise regulations    An example of 55-60db is around a dishwasher or a moderate rain shower according to https://audiology-web.s3.amazonaws.com/migrated/NoiseChart_Poster-%208.5×11.pdf_5399b289427535.32730330.pdf    I’m a little suspect of the reports estimating a batting cage producing a ‘minor increase in sound’, as I have spent a lot of time in batting cages and golf ranges.  Maybe, more of a ballpark estimate?  Metal (or composite) bats, with the cage roof (is it metal?) and the echo already produced by the south wall could be really loud.  A google search of batted balls or golf ranges had levels much higher, in the 80-90 dBs+.  I might be a little on edge having to deal with the fireworks and donut drivers in the parking lot over the past several nights. I live in the area and would have expected to have been contacted prior to this draft for community comment/engagement on a project of this nature.  But, I guess not all that surprised.  I will/would be asking, Could we set up 3 batting stations and replicate noise to get a more accurate estimate of sound? What kind of bats and balls are allowed?  Could the cage not be completely enclosed?  What is that cost?  Or input on hours?  The school already uses the field for student activity and band with no issues.  That generally falls within school hours.  But this report states cage would be open to 10pm.  Summer use is not anticipated, but what if that happens?  And don’t attack me for stating my opinion.  I’m all for West Seattle Baseball and chances down the road.  I have watched many of these kids compete over the years.   I agree that there should be better resources for all student athletes.  I know how important it is for kids to have access to facilities.  Agree this area could/should be utilized better.  All I’m suggesting is better communication/notice/involvement, prior to issuing this draft.  Or, brought along earlier in this project before it was a reality.  I have been involved in a few school planning and BLT committees (playground planning, portable classrooms, etc…) and this one is lacking in real information.  And possibly disingenuous to insinuate, that 3 batting cages would make slightly more noise than a dishwasher.  But, happy to be proven wrong.  Maybe the tranquil like dishwasher sounds will drown out the donut drivers?   Yahoo!    signed, soon to be the guy with a decibel reader app… kind of joking;)

  • Kevin July 10, 2020 (9:23 pm)

    I have only recently moved into the neighborhood and when I learned of the plan for the batting cage, my first concern was the noise for those immediately located opposite the current grassed area, the issue of parking, as the SW Handford street is almost constantly bumper to bumper all day long now and school is not even in session, and then just curious as to the number of students who would actually use it versus the cost of this project.  Trying to navigate onto Hanford from 42nd street is already problematic as you can not see the oncoming cars coming up from California or heading to California as the cars parked on the street block the view.  I have been here two months and already witness near misses with pedestrians crossing. 

Sorry, comment time is over.