This past Saturday, while I was addressing the Seattle Care Congress at the Greenwood Senior Center, my Legislative Aide Frank Video was participating in a half-day planning workshop at Warren G. Magnuson Park.
Seattle Parks and Recreation is starting to develop a strategic plan for the park in order to help guide future capital investment, development and programming for Seattle’s premiere regional park.
Mayor Mike McGinn and Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, chair of the Council’s Parks & Neighborhoods Committee, provided welcoming remarks. The goals of the workshop were to recognize completed projects that were implemented from previous plans; identify desired facilities, programs, services and amenities for the park and the historic district it lies within; and prioritize currently unfunded capital improvement projects.
A wish list was presented to the 80 or so attendees, categorized under the headings of land, infrastructure, buildings and programming. Items receiving the lion’s share of votes from participants were retaining open space and introducing more arts programming and facilities.
Of all the unfunded capital improvement projects at Magnuson, I believe Building 30 is the one most in need of being redeveloped. Last year, I advocated for following the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Oversight Committee’s recommendation of utilizing Levy inflation savings to help rebuild Building 30. I am pleased that the Executive agreed and that construction on the building’s first phase of improvements is to begin later this year. The first phase will see the addition of up to 25 new artist studios, new offices for both Parks staff and non-profit groups and a reinforced hangar that will allow all activities to return that were barred from meeting there due to safety concerns a couple of years ago.
I encourage you to visit the Parks Department’s web site to follow their progress and to add your voice to their future plans for Magnuson Park.