FOLLOWUP: Gate status at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex

As reported here, that reader-provided photo shows the scene Monday morning at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex as what was left of a burned, presumably stolen Kia Soul was towed away. The fire was reported around 4 am; nearby residents say the lot has been a chronic trouble spot for stunt driving and worse. It’s a Seattle Public Schools facility, so we asked the district whether the gate to that part of the lot was supposed to be locked. Short answer, yes, per a district spokesperson, whose full reply to our inquiry was:

Locking the Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex gates is part of the nightly routine of the nighttime attendant at the complex. Seattle Public Schools facilities and grounds team reviews the safety and security procedures with the staff on a regular basis. The grounds team responds in a timely manner when gate locks are not functional to repair or replace the hardware.

The community can use our Safe Schools Hotline 206-252-0510 to report threats or dangerous activity on any SPS property. This phone number is managed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

After getting that response Tuesday afternoon, we went by NCSWAC at 1:30 am today to see if the gate was secured; it was.

6 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Gate status at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex"

  • Marina July 19, 2023 (9:54 pm)

    Wow, 1:30am. Now that’s dedication and follow-through. We’re so lucky to have you, WSB. 

  • Kbota July 19, 2023 (10:37 pm)

    Thank you West Seattle Blog! I don’t think this would have been taken care of without you asking around.  

  • Sillygoose July 20, 2023 (11:11 am)

    I am praying with fingers crossed they find evidence of who the looser’s are that did this.  

  • me on 28th Ave SW July 30, 2023 (9:22 pm)

    This evening (Sunday 7/30) around 8:30 pm over 100 vehicles suddenly gathered in this same parking lot to watch trucks and cars drift and burn out.  It was not locked.  I called that 24 hour line above and was told 1) call 911 2) it’s up to Parks and Rec to deal with the gate/lot yet 3) they could see the activities in real time on a camera?  I hung up and called 911 after TWO minutes got through.  Both 911 and the 24 hour SPS line mentioned they had multiple calls about the gathering.  About 10m later a single SPD car was on our block observing (don’t blame then for the waiting).  A few minutes later multiple SPD units arrived with lights going.  They drive into the lot and it is was like watching fans leave a big football game-it took at least 5 minutes for all the cars and trucks leave.  I’m grateful they showed up but something has got to be done to prevent this.  Lock the fricken gate!  Nobody needs access to the back lot at night.  

    • WSB July 30, 2023 (9:38 pm)

      That explains the person who called us a little bit ago and said there were tons of police in the “Chief Sealth lot.” Patrick went down the hill to look and everything was empty. I’ll bring this to SPS again. P.S. The SPD delay was likely because they had at least half a dozen cars at Don Armeni dealing with a “big fight” just before sunset – TR

  • me on 28th Ave SW July 30, 2023 (10:14 pm)

    Thank you. I will say that the past week has been very quiet, so clearly some message got through until tonight.  The number of vehicles was shocking.  They were organized.  They parked on one side of the lot to keep the other half clear for fast and furious SWAC.  Now that I know they can see what is happening on camera I’m a big angrier they haven’t dealt with the issue, especially since a young man was murdered on their property across the street.  SPSD definitely manages to lock all the gates to their fields.

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