West Seattle, Washington
After a question about work under way now at currently vacant EC Hughes Elementary (7740 34th SW) – likely to be the new home of Roxhill Elementary starting in fall 2018 – we followed up today with Seattle Public Schools.
As we reported back in October, the district planned to take the ~$14 million Hughes renovation project to bid early this year, and district capital-project manager Paul Wight tells WSB today that’s still the plan: “The Capital Department is preparing the documents for bidding. We will advertise this project on February 7th, open bids on March 8th, award the contract in April and start construction in May.”
Our photo above, taken this morning, shows some signs of work there now. Wight says it’s “critical maintenance” that must be done before the renovation work:
The Seattle Public Schools Facility Department has cleaned up the front landscape, removing some unhealthy vegetation and trimming up heathy trees and plants. They are also repairing the historic wood windows from the interior of the building. Our Masons are working on the brick repairing mortar by tuck pointing the brick as well as installing seismic ties around the egress points of the building. The brick will be cleaned, resealed, and anti-graffiti coating installed.
The city Department of Construction and Inspections, Wight adds, is reviewing the permit drawings and is expected to issue the permit “within the next month or two.”
One more thing: The public is welcome to the district’s next meeting with the Roxhill Elementary PTSA, which Wight says is set for 6 pm February 13th at
Roxhill EC Hughes. (Our report on the district’s briefing with the PTSA last fall is here.)
Though many government offices/facilities are closed today, Seattle Public Library branches are open! In West Seattle, the Southwest and WS (Admiral) branches are open now, closing at 8 pm; the Delridge branch is open 1-8 pm; the High Point branch remains closed for renovations (reopening January 9th).
No special events at the branches today, but tomorrow, if you have kid(s) home from school for winter break, check this out: Southwest Library (35th SW/SW Henderson) has an event that children’s librarian Dave Eicke wants to make sure you know about – Lego Space Wars, 2-4 pm Tuesday. As Eicke points out, “Play and use of Legos have been shown to show real benefits in STEM education. The planning and building helps with communicating ideas with physical objects.” Free, no registration required, just show up!
From Anthony at Southwest Pool:
Southwest Pool is collecting nonperishable food and snacks for the West Seattle Food Bank. Last year we brought in 300 pounds of donations. The food drive is now through Friday (December 16th).
To give back for community support, today through Friday, the Southwest Pool will also have specific discounted swims for persons who donate 3 or more nonperishables to the activity.
Here’s the schedule for that:
Southwest Pool is at 2801 SW Thistle.
2:15 PM: If you saw the big Seattle Police response in Sunrise Heights/Westwood – with a brief appearance by the Guardian One helicopter – here’s what we’ve found out: Someone saw a package theft in progress, called 911, and gave police a description of the alleged thieves’ vehicle. Police arrived, spotted the car, stopped it in an alley east of 35th and Thistle, and took two people into custody. (Thanks to @MetPatrick22 for the tweet about the search, which was first we’d heard of this.)
2:30 PM: Since this happened such a short time ago, SPD media relations doesn’t have details yet, but they were able to tell us that the original theft report was near 35th/Trenton, not too far from the arrest scene.
12:39 PM: After multiple messages about a power outage at the Target store at Westwood Village – one that wasn’t showing on the Seattle City Light map – we went over to investigate. A manager tells us the store lost power after closing last night. It now has partial power, and is open for business, but some of the lights aren’t on, and they’re not able to run the freezers in the grocery section, so you can’t buy frozen food. They’re not yet sure how soon this will be fixed – they have an electrician continuing to investigate.
5:07 PM: Passing by between stories, we note that the lights appear to be back to normal, including exterior signage. (If you shop there tonight and find out otherwise, please let us know – we won’t be able to check until later – thank you.)
Tomorrow (Monday) night, the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meets, and you’re invited. We have added the full agenda to the meeting’s listing on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar; major items include another update on the action plan resulting from July’s Find It, Fix It Walk, and a look ahead to Green Seattle Day volunteering on November 12th. The meeting starts at 6:15 pm, upstairs at Southwest Library (35th SW/SW Henderson).
5:56 PM: If you saw the big police response outside the Westwood Village McDonald’s around 5:15 pm – here’s what it was about: Officers spotted someone they knew had a warrant out for his arrest, related to an armed-robbery case, called for backup, moved in, and arrested him. We don’t have name/case information yet but will be watching the jail register.
THURSDAY AFTERNOON: Online records show the suspect arrested is 20-year-old Christian Demuth-Hebert. He also was cited for resisting arrest and obstructing police. He is jailed in lieu of $101,000 bail – the $100,000 is for the robbery warrant, which we traced to a case involving shoplifting turned violent at a store in Bellevue, which is also the city listed for his most recent residence. We haven’t found any West Seattle ties so far. The charging documents in that case say his record stretches back to at least 14: “Assault Third Degree and Theft Third Degree (2016, reduced from Robbery 2); Theft Third Degree (2015, reduced from Robbery 2); Vehicle Prowl 2 (2015); Theft Third Degree (2014), Escape Third Degree (2011) and Criminal Trespass (2011, 2010).”
A few people are asking about the work that’s now under way at the former Pier 1 Imports space in Westwood Village. In case you missed our original story back in June: It’s being remodeled into an Ulta Beauty retail-and-salon location. Back when we discovered that in building-permit files, Ulta wouldn’t confirm it, but not only has the permit been granted and work started, they’re even advertising for help at the new store. We’re checking on a projected opening date.
2:51 PM Several people have asked us about police and fire at 34th SW/SW Thistle this past hour – it was logged as a low-level car-crash response (“Motor Vehicle Incident”) but the photo above, sent in via text (thank you!), shows one casualty … a street sign. At least the second time in less than a week that a car’s taken out a sign (following last week’s Alki crash). No medic unit sent to this one, which indicates no major injuries, but we’re doublechecking with SFD to be sure.
3:25 PM: SFD confirms it was a 2-car crash with no injuries.
The next Southwest Design Review Board meeting has just been set for the mixed-use project at 9030 35th SW, recently revived after eight years on hold. It’s currently proposed for five stories “containing 40 apartment units and 3,200 square feet of commercial,” with 32 off-street parking spaces. You can see the report on its previous review last May by going here. The next meeting is set for 6:30 pm Thursday, November 3rd, at the Sisson Building/Senior Center in The Junction (SW Oregon/California SW) and will include a public-comment period; the revised design proposal isn’t yet available, but you can watch for it here.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Two months after the Westwood-Roxhill Find It, Fix It Walk with Mayor Murray and a platoon of city employees, has anything been “fixed”? That was the biggest item – and the final one – on the agenda for this month’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting.
FIND IT, FIX IT FOLLOWUP: Lemmis Stephens and Laura Jenkins, working with the city via AmeriCorps, came to WWRHAH for the followup. Here’s the report they brought:
Jenkins pointed out that pages 7-9 show which projects were awarded grants – one of the neighbor groups, at 22nd and Henderson, will have one more work party this Saturday, and, as reported here a week and a half ago, have been paid a visit by overgrowth-munching goats: Read More
Photos by Leda Costa for West Seattle Blog
It’s that magic month of the year when you’ll find paintings, sculptures, pottery, and other visual art among the bookshelves and other standard fixtures at Southwest Library. The 25th annual community art showcase continues at the branch is on all month, launched with a Sunday reception organized by Friends of the Southwest Library:
They told us this year’s response to the call for art was great – 103 pieces by 46 artists. You can see the artwork all month during regular library hours – 10 am to 8 pm Mondays through Thursdays, 10 am-6 pm Fridays and Saturdays, 1 pm-5 pm Sundays. Some of the artists who were at the reception:
Above, Vera C Stirling has several pieces in the show. She says an art class at the Senior Center two years ago sparked her interest in drawing and creating art. Below, it’s the second year of participation for Tycho Bear, who is displaying two of his creations:
Betty M. Laughlin (below) grew up coming to the Southwest Library:
She says her mom would bring her and they would leave with stacks of books. Years later, here she is displaying her photography and her wearable art – a felted necklace and bracelets.
Another artist there for Sunday’s reception: Ernie Flowers (below), a local film photographer, named his photograph of the swan after Edward Weston‘s iconic 1927 image Nautilus.
This is his first year participating in the show.
Gordon Miller was also at the reception:
In our photo, he’s standing under his resin piece “Rooftop.”
More of what you’ll see when you go check out the art at Southwest Library this month: Read More
Want to see change in your neighborhood? One easy way is to jump in with the people who are already working on it – but can’t do it alone – your all-volunteer community council. Next West Seattle group to meet is the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, 6:15 pm tomorrow (Monday, October 3rd), at Southwest Library (35th/Henderson). Agenda items include following up on July’s Find It, Fix It Walk (WSB coverage here) and information about the new Westside Neighbors Network. See the full agenda preview in our calendar listing – and if the issue that interests you isn’t featured, show up and speak up!
More than 50 goats from Rent-A-Ruminant have been busy clearing one of the Westwood-area trouble spots highlighted during the Find It, Fix It Community Walk two months ago – a tangle of stairway-side brush, the removal of which has revealed numerous cans, bottles, and other litter.
We got word of their work at 22nd SW/SW Henderson late today from Ami, who had spoken to the mayor and dozens of other walkers during the July 26th event, playing a video clip from a former neighbor who said crime and disorder in the area had forced her to move (it’s in our July 26th report).
Ami explained in her note today, “After the Find it Fix it walk, we applied for a grant to mulch the area adjacent to the 22nd Ave SW and Henderson stairs. SDOT assigned an arborist to the project who brought in goats and is donating mulch for our neighborhood work party on 10/1 from noon to 2 pm.” We went over for a look at the goats, whose “head wrangler,” RAR proprietor Tammy, told us they’ve been working since Thursday and will likely leave around midmorning Sunday. (Her herd also did work for SDOT along the Delridge/Holden stairway a year and a half ago.)
By Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
About 17 concerned citizens attended tonight’s Southwest Design Review Board meeting about the proposed apartment complex at 2222 SW Barton.
Architect Justin Kliewer, who is now with Cleave Architecture and Design, presented three different massing (size/shape) options for the complex, which will be situated on what Kliewer called a “tricky” triangular parcel of 15,500 square-feet, on a steep grade, currently home to a small apartment building. The area is a bit of a mix, with Westwood Village within a stone’s throw, and single-family houses to the east and south.
The idea of 70 to 80 units shoe-horned into the space was not warmly received by those present.
“I can hardly believe they can squeeze in 80 units, it’s absurd, massive, way too big for the site,” said a neighbor named Sebastian, who lives directly uphill from the site. He said it would be visible for eight to 10 blocks and become a “monolithic presence.”
(Map of outage area, from Seattle City Light website)
12:38 AM: Thanks for the texts: Seattle City Light‘s outage map says more than 3,500 homes/businesses have lost power, mostly in southeast West Seattle and White Center. No word yet on the cause.
12:53 AM: The map now has the “estimated restoration” time of 7 am, but we always add the reminder, that’s a guesstimate and it could be much sooner, or much later. SCL is still investigating the cause.
1:15 AM: Commenter SteveMG reports seeing SCL and emergency responders in the 8th/Roxbury vicinity.
1:18 AM: We’re getting some reports of power restored – mostly from South Delridge. No change in the outage-map total yet but sometimes it lags.
1:25 AM: Now the map’s caught up with the restoration reports – 294 customers (homes/businesses) still without power, in White Center. Here’s the updated map:
1:36 AM: Along with SteveMG, a commenter on our partner site White Center Now also mentions what seemed like an underground “explosion” at 8th/Roxbury. Here’s what SCL tweeted about the cause, without mentioning a specific location:
Crews have identified an equipment failure in an underground vault as the cause for the White Center-W. Seattle outage.
— Seattle City Light (@SEACityLight) August 31, 2016
6:27 AM: Power has since been fully restored.
(“Preferred option” configuration from design packet for 2222 SW Barton, by Playhouse Design Group)
The first Design Review date is set for the four-story, 70+-apartment proposal at 2222 SW Barton [map]. It’s been three months since we first reported on this plan for that triangle of land southeast of Westwood Village. According to the Southwest Design Review Board‘s schedule, the project’s Early Design Guidance review – when size/shape (“massing”) is the focus – is set for 6:30 pm Thursday, September 15th, at the Sisson Building/Senior Center in The Junction. The first draft of the design “packet” by Playhouse Design Group is downloadable from the city website; you can get it here (16 MB PDF). It says the project could vary from 70 to 80 units, 260 to 515 square feet, depending on the final approved design. No offstreet parking is included, and none is required because of the “frequent transit” (including RapidRide) available nearby. The site currently holds a fourplex built in 1959, according to county records.
The Wingstop in Westwood Village will open this week. We’ve just confirmed that it will start by “soft-opening” around noontime this Thursday (August 4th); the official grand opening is set for the weekend of August 27th and 28th. At some point during that weekend, we’re told, the franchise’s owner Richard Sherman will be on hand – yes, THAT Richard Sherman, as in Seahawks star, but the company’s not sure exactly when yet. Official hours will be 11 am-11 pm Sundays through Thursdays, 11 am-midnight on Fridays. Wingstop is in the space west of 24-Hour Fitness that was long home to Eats Market Café; it’s been 13 months since we first reported that Eats was closing and Wingstop was on the way.
Just in from the city – the plan, and map, for next Monday’s Find It, Fix It Community Walk in the Roxhill and Westwood areas – the second one in West Seattle, after the Delridge FIFI walk last October (WSB coverage here). The starting point is now finalized – Longfellow Creek P-Patch at 25th SW/SW Thistle, just east of Chief Sealth International High School; refreshments and sign-in are planned 6-6:30 pm, with the walk to follow this schedule:
6:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.
· Welcome remarks from Mayor Ed Murray
6:45 p.m. – 7:55 p.m.
· Walk commences along the following route (map):
o West on SW Thistle St
o South on 26th Ave SW
o South on 24th Ave SW
o South on 25th Ave SW
o West on SW Barton St
7:55 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
· Walk concludes at Roxhill Park
· Department representatives and City staff available for follow-up questions
Participants can use the Find It, Fix It mobile app on the walk. This smartphone app offers mobile users one more way to report selected issues to the City. Make sure to download the app before the walk.
In partnership with Cities of Service, the City will offer up to $5,000 in grants for community-led projects to each 2016 Find It, Fix It Walk neighborhood. The Roxhill/Westwood Community Project Grant Application is available in seven languages at www.seattle.gov/finditfixit until Wednesday, August 3. If you have an idea for a project in Roxhill/Westwood, please apply today!
We first reported three months ago that West Seattle’s second walk would be in the Roxhill area; Westwood was a recent addition to the plan. This is the only one planned for West Seattle this year.
Two months after the south half of the pavement repairs on 26th SW between Barton and Roxbury, the north half is under way. SDOT says this is the notice circulated in the neighborhood:
The project plan followed complaints brought to the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council in March, after many months of increased bus traffic on 26th that rattled and battered pavement while residents reported shaking in their homes.
P.S. Thanks to Gill for the tip on this!
The idea of turning the six tennis courts west of Southwest Pool into an indoor tennis center is still in the early exploration stage.
But that’s the stage at which it’s important to talk things through, a lot, and about 50 people showed up to do that on Tuesday night at Chief Sealth International High School.
Lisa Corbin is the community member leading the campaign. She explained how the idea originated four years ago – the backstory’s on this fact sheet – and that a city Small and Simple grant was paying for a feasibility study by Jack Kamrath of Tennis Planning Consultants.
Kamrath said he’s in town to get the next part of that study going and expects to have it finished by summer’s end. The next phase will look at the potential market for the center and will focus on finding out how many people play tennis “from time to time” in order to gauge potential demand, which then would determine how many courts are needed. He’s already done two mapping surveys, one to determine how many people live within 15 minutes’ driving distance and how many live within 18 minutes. Those numbers, he said, range from 360,000 people to nearly 515,000.
Building this kind of structure, he said, would take about six months once permits are issued. The site (formerly part of the Denny International Middle School campus, still owned by Seattle Public Schools) already has power, water, sewer, drainage infrastructure in place; along with the courts, which would need to be refinished, it would have restrooms and storage areas. So far, Kamrath said, discussions that he and Corbin have had with the city have not turned up any major speedbumps.
Questions included what the center would cost. As noted in the FAQ sheet made available, it’s estimated to be around $4 million. It’s expected that would come “from multiple public and private sources” (though NOT school-district funds). And it would be self-sustaining once operational, bringing in money from lessons, court fees, and league play. It would likely be managed by a concessionaire, much the same way that Premier manages city golf courses. Too soon to say how all this would balance out with school use. And if you are recalling that the site was mentioned as a potential future elementary school, the FAQ says the district has told the group they don’t envision school construction on the site “for at least the next 28 years.”
Watch here for word of the next community meeting and other updates.
11:56 AM: Thanks to the texter who tipped us to this: Seattle City Light is investigating a power outage in the Westwood area. Its map shows 44 customers (homes/businesses) without electricity, north of Roxbury and east of 27th SW. No cause is listed yet, but the texter reported hearing an “explosion” – no Seattle Fire dispatches in the area, though.
3:08 PM: Just checked – still out, after more than three hours. SCL’s map attributes the outage to “equipment failure” and guesstimates that power will be restored by early evening.
6:41 PM: According to the SCL map, the power’s back on.