West Seattle, Washington
Tonight Seattle Public Schools updated its COVID-19 case-numbers dashboard. Districtwide, the cumulative SPS case total for this school year is now 4,587, 997 more than a week earlier – which is two-thirds the size of last week’s increase. Here’s the local school-by-school breakout (as always, these totals also are cumulative):
Chief Sealth International High School – 102, up 25
Madison Middle School – 73, up 22
Arbor Heights Elementary – 60, up 20
Fairmount Park Elementary – 55, up 28
West Seattle High School – 53, up 9
West Seattle Elementary – 52, up 9
Louisa Boren STEM K-8 – 48, up 16
Denny International Middle School – 48, up 8
Highland Park Elementary – 46, up 31
Concord International (Elementary) – 41, up 13
Genesee Hill Elementary – 39, up 8
Sanislo Elementary – 39, up 3
Roxhill Elementary – 36, up 8
Lafayette Elementary – 31, up 11
Gatewood Elementary – 31, up 6
Pathfinder K-8 – 31, unchanged
Alki Elementary – 29, up 6
BRIDGES @ Roxhill – 2, unchanged
Denny IMS (2601 SW Kenyon) continues to serve as a regional testing site for SPS students, families, and staff, 4-8 pm weekdays.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Two months short of two years since the West Seattle Bridge closed, no date is set yet for its reopening, aside from “mid-2022.” SDOT‘s contract with the company fixing it, Kraemer North America, says they’re supposed to finish their work no later than June 30th. Testing will follow. And at some point around the reopening, a community celebration is expected (as we first noted in October). What kind of celebration? That’s up to the community – so a brainstorming session today officially kicked off the planning.
The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce and Junction Association convened a call with dozens of neighborhood advocates and businesspeople to invite ideas and to solicit volunteers for planning committees. The many ideas ran largely along two paths – celebrating the bridge itself, and welcoming visitors back to the peninsula. Celebrating the community members who’ve endured bridgelessness for two years should also be a goal, it was suggested. One big event? Multiple events? Merge the celebration with already-planned events like West Seattle Summer Fest, which is expected to return July 15-17, or the West Seattle Grand Parade, also likely to return this summer? Celebration on the bridge? Somewhere else, like a park or stadium or street? This was a “no bad ideas” type of conversation, so every suggestion and question was duly noted.
The executive directors of the WSCC and WSJA, Whitney Moore and Chris Mackay, said they’d had some preliminary conversations with SDOT, describing the department as “open” to possibilities, but with one big stipulation, which SDOT itself noted in October: The actual bridge reopening can’t be delayed in any way. If a celebration is planned on the bridge for a certain Sunday, for example, and the bridge is deemed ready to go on the preceding Friday, sorry, the bridge won’t wait, the WSCC and WSJA leaders say they were told. So that is a factor to consider. The only thing they said SDOT could say for sure in terms of a timeline is the same thing the city said in October – that they’ll know one month in advance.
P.S. Wondering if money is budgeted for a celebration? The WSCC and WSJA said no. (We are checking with SDOT to see if that goes for the city too.) So that could mean sponsors will be sought to cover any costs. That’s another reason why volunteer help is being sought now. If you’re interested in helping, contact WSJA or WSCC.
We’ve received questions about when the new play structure between Fairmount Park Elementary and Fairmount Playfield is going to open – it’s remained fenced off, three months after installation. The most recent project-website update blamed the concrete strike for recent delays and suggested it’ll be open next month. We followed up directly with Seattle Parks today and spokesperson Karen O’Connor tells WSB the main delay now is the material they need to put under the structure:
We were hoping to open this week, but we are awaiting delivery of the engineered wood fiber (EWF) needed for fall attenuation. In addition to the unexpected concrete strike, we have been challenged by long lead times to have EWF delivered due to labor and material shortages.
We were alerted this AM that the full amount of EWF will not be delivered tomorrow as planned. The project landscape architect is working with our vendor to see if we can schedule additional deliveries this week. After delivery we need to have the final inspection and then can remove the construction fencing. We are hoping to open the play area open early next week.
This is almost two years behind the original schedule detailed on the Parks sign that’s still up at the project site. Planning began in 2019.
Three and a half weeks have passed since the “sneak peek” day at the future Ezell’s Famous Chicken location in Morgan Junction, but it still hasn’t opened. “Late January” was the likely timeframe mentioned then, so since that’s arrived, we asked the company for a status. Reply: “At this point, our timeline has shifted and early-mid February is our new target.” So in case you were wondering too, now you know. We first reported a year ago that the regional fried-chicken chain was headed this way.
P.S. As listed on our West Seattle Jobs Offered page, they’re still hiring.
Wednesday night is your first chance to see the next production at ArtsWest Playhouse (WSB sponsor), the world premiere of “Monsters of the American Cinema” by award-winning playwright Christian St. Croix. That’s your chance to see a 7:30 pm discount-ticket preview; then Thursday is the official opening night. Here’s the synopsis:
When his husband dies, Remy Washington, a Black man, finds himself both the owner of a drive-in movie theater and a caregiver to his late husband’s straight, white teenage son, Pup. United by their love of classic American monster movies, the two have developed a warm and caring familial chemistry – but their relationship fractures when Remy discovers Pup and his friends have been bullying a gay teen at his school. “Monsters of the American Cinema” is a haunting and humorous tale about fathers and sons, ghosts and monsters.
Lamar Legend stars as Remy and also directs the play. Legend is from Seattle, as is co-star Alexander Kilian, who plays Pup. The official run of “Monsters of the American Cinema” is Thursday (January 27th) through February 20th; after the preview, regular performances will be at 7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays and 3 pm Sundays. As with ArtsWest’s first play of the season, there will be an opportunity to see it online, too. Tickets are available online here or by phone at 206-938-0339.
Two reports in West Seattle Crime Watch this afternoon:
WEST BAY BREAK-IN: Just as West Bay Coffee and Smoothies worked to recover from weather damage, with community help, they got hit by crime. The image and report were sent by proprietor Jennifer West:
After all the trouble with our year starting out, the new storage shed that we got funded by the community lasted 3 hours and is already been broken into. Here’s the burglar vehicle, no plates.
We’ll add the incident number when we get it.
STREET ROBBERY: From weekend SPD summaries – a sale arranged online led to a holdup in person. Police say they were called to Delridge/Edmunds just after 9 pm Saturday. The victim told them he had arranged via Facebook Marketplace to buy a phone from someone. The person who showed up “brandished a silver handgun and stole victim’s cell phone and wallet,” then took off on foot, southbound. The summary does not include a description.
The King County Water Taxi‘s 1:00 pm run to downtown from Seacrest Park is running up to 20 minutes late, according to Metro: “Vessel Captain and crew had to switch vessels due to unexpected issue with a generator.” We’ll update if that leads to any additional problems later in the day.
ORIGINAL MONDAY REPORT: Two months ago, we reported on the then-pending sale of West Seattle’s last freestanding Christian Science church, at 3601 SW Barton [map]. There was no hint at the time of who was buying it and what the one-acre site’s future would be; it was being marketed with possibilities including eight new homes. The sale still hasn’t shown up in county records but a new filing with the city proposes a use for the site – a preschool. WorldKids School, which already has two locations in West Seattle and others elsewhere, has filed an early-stage site plan that would convert the church building into a preschool. The site plan also shows a playground at the northeast corner of the site. We have an inquiry out to WorldKids seeking more information about their plan. As for the former church, a regional spokesperson for the denomination told us that the small group that had continued to meet at the site was disbanding. This wouldn’t be the first former West Seattle church converted into a preschool – we reported last year on Westside School (WSB sponsor) doing the same thing with the former New Apostolic Church adjacent to its Arbor Heights campus.
ADDED TUESDAY: We heard back today from WorldKids founder Nicole Chaudry:
WorldKids School has been looking for properties that can serve more families in our community for a while now. We currently have a 1-2 year waitlist at all of our current locations and this new space will allow us to serve more families.
We are thrilled that the church group has agreed to sell the building to our organization. Plans are very preliminary at this point but we will be obtaining financing through the SBA. The remodel, permits etc will take 6-12 months. We will remodel the church building in order to bring it up to code and make it suitable for our preschool center. We have no plans to develop the property but might expand our playground at some point.
Here’s what’s happening in the hours ahead:
CITY COUNCIL BRIEFING: On their new schedule, the council’s weekly “briefing meeting” is at 2 pm Mondays, with their regular business meeting at 2 pm Tuesdays. Watch live at seattlechannel.org.
COVID TESTING AT DENNY IMS: 4-8 pm weekdays, Seattle Public Schools students, staff, and families are welcome at this walk-in testing site. In the cafeteria (2601 SW Kenyon).
FREE POWER YOGA/PILATES CLASS: 5 pm at Delridge Community Center (4501 Delridge Way SW), ages 16 and up welcome.
6:03 AM Good morning!
Foggy, cloudy, cool, high in the 40s.
BUSES, WATER TAXI, FERRIES
Metro is on a regular weekday schedule. Watch @kcmetrobus for word of trip cancellations.
West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxi routes are on regular schedules.
Ferries: WSF continues a two-boat schedule on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run. Check here for alerts/updates.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
671st morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras are still in use; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends; the bridge is open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings. (Access applications are available here for some categories of drivers.)
The 1st Avenue South Bridge (map):
South Park Bridge:
West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:
Highland Park Way/Holden:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.