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Seattle Parks and Recreation

The View from Denny Park:
News and Views from the Superintendent

No. 12. February 6, 2001


A periodic electronic newsletter about Parks and Recreation news, programs, projects and events from Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Ken Bounds


We are moving ahead with implementing both the 1999 Seattle Center and Community Center Levy and the Pro Parks 2000 Levy.

Four of nine community center projects are in various stages of planning or design. At Northgate, Seattle Parks is participating in a planning process with the Seattle Public Library and other City agencies, King County/Metro and Sound Transit to explore co-location possibilities for several new public facilities, including the new community center. In the International District, we are also working collaboratively with the Seattle Chinatown-International District Preservation and Development Authority in the second phase of its Village Square project, which will include a new community center. In Belltown, another downtown neighborhood without a community center, our neighborhood partners have selected three possible sites for a new center. Out at Sand Point/Magnuson Park, staff and the consultant design firm Arai Jackson have begun to design the renovation of the old Navy community center and pool. Projects at the remaining five centers will get started this year or next. Most of the early funding from the eight-year levy has gone to projects at Seattle Center that were already under way when the Levy was approved.

We are also making good progress on the Pro Parks Levy. Selection of the 16-member Levy Oversight Committee is nearly complete, and staff are finishing Pro Parks management and implementation plans that will help guide our work over the next eight years. The committee should be in place by the end of this month. It will begin to meet soon to advise us on implementation and help develop the criteria and application process for the $10 million Opportunity Fund. If youd like to receive notices for committee meetings, please contact Catherine Anstett at (206) 615-0386 or

To help us better manage and focus on these important capital projects, we have re-organized the Department somewhat, dividing the former Facilities Maintenance and Development Division into two divisions, the Facilities Maintenance Services Division and the Capital Planning and Development Division. CPDD staff will take the lead in implementing both levies, the Neighborhood Matching Fund Program and other capital improvements. Keeping the public informed and involved in all of these projects is a high priority for the new division and the Department as a whole.

Needless to say, this will be a busy year.


You may have heard about the bankruptcy of Family Golf Centers, Inc., the company we hired to build and operate the Interbay golf center. I want to assure you that Interbay will continue to be a first-class facility during the upcoming transition to new management.

Family Golf has been ordered by a court to liquidate its assets. One of these assets is the contract it has with the City. This week, I will be attending a bankruptcy auction in New York City in essence, a going-out-of-business sale at which other companies will bid on the contract and other Family Golf holdings.

We will participate in the bidding and either buy back the contract and find a new operator, or work closely with the winning bidder. In either case, we are committed to a seamless transition to new management without interruption of excellent service at this top-notch golfing facility.


In one dramatic weekend in January, the monolith moved back to Sand Point/Magnuson Park, the Tent City set up temporarily at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park, and the historic Pergola at Pioneer Square collapsed. While surveying the fallen structure, Mayor Paul Schell made the commitment to the Pioneer Square community that we would restore and rebuild the Pergola.

The damage to the Pergola was breathtaking. A large truck hit one of the Pergola support columns on the morning of January 15 causing tons of steel and glass to crash to the earth. Parks and Recreation staff worked quickly to fence and secure the area and remove the damaged pieces.

The good news is that the trucking company whose truck knocked down the Pergola has agreed in principle to pay for the damage. In the meantime, we have cataloged the individual Pergola pieces, which are now located in a nearby warehouse, and have begun to assess the damage to the pieces. We should know soon about a timetable for completing this project. Last week, we removed the fences and re-opened the park, placing planters where the Pergola once stood.

It was a sad day when the Pergola fell, but it will rise again, this time with improved structural soundness to prevent such an accident in the future.

I will be in touch soon.

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