The Seattle Parks Department is moving ahead with a plan to replace the Green Lake Community Center and Evans Pool. In these days of social distancing they can’t hold the community meetings for input that would normally be a part of the Seattle Process. So they have posted a survey to their website to gather the opinions of neighbors. (Follow the instructions to the “Online Open House.”) It can be quick, with just a few questions to answer, or you can take your time filling up the open comment boxes. This is our community center, so Wallingford needs to weigh in.
Basically, the Community Center is now almost 90 years old and Evans Pool more than 60 years old. It is said that the Community Center is slowly sinking offkilter into the peat bog and fill that created the land where it is located. There is a great video on the website with old photographs detailing the long history of this Olmsted park and the Community Center. Funds have now been allocated for the planning of a replacement and, if we advocate for it, enlargement of the center to the standard that has been created elsewhere in the city over the past twenty years. If you have been out to the new Northgate rec center you know what a modern center can be.
The questionnaire asks you to weigh in on where it should be located. They are proposing six alternatives, all on Green Lake or Woodland Park. One is to rebuild right where they are, which is probably their least favored alternative, although keeping a rehabbed and spiffed up Evans Pool there might be a viable option and does have some advantages. Other alternatives you can see on the map above are on the west side south of the Bathhouse Theater, next to Aurora at the Lawn Bowling site or at 50th and Aurora on the overflow parking lot for the Zoo, or on the south side at the Pitch & Putt site or where the tennis courts are now. There are lots of issues to consider, such as parking, transit access, walking and bike access and proximity to residential populations in addition to “is the site big enough”. But go to the website, read the descriptions from the Parks Department and have your say. The survey is open until May 22.
There will also be an on-line presentation on May 13 at noon that you can sign up for on the same website. It is not clear if they are going to accept any comments from the public at that time. You can also sign up there to be on their email notification list for followup meetings later this summer.