A Decade's Old Dream

The article that follows was written by Benjamin Minnick and first appeared in the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. The story describes an initiative that has been a decade and a half in the making and may finally be realized by early summer and was forwarded to the Angle Lake Shore Club Blog with a request to share it with the community at large. The community should note that major portions of the park will require to be closed off from the public throughout the Spring months to complete the project.


Not every project takes 16 years to finish, just Kit Ledbetter's. 

Ledbetter is parks and recreation director for the city of SeaTac, and has been working since 1997 to make Angle Lake Park into something special for area residents.  “I have three years before I retire, so I'm so happy to do this project,” he said.

The master plan for the 10-acre park off International Boulevard, one mile south of the airport, was developed in 1997 and the first phase of improvements was finished a year later. The $1.5 million final phase of the master plan is finally ready to go, with the city advertising for a general contractor on Wednesday.

“With its beautiful 1930's (Works Progress Administration) design theme, craftsman woodwork structures and scenic lake views of Mount Rainier, this park has truly become the jewel of the city of SeaTac's park system,” said Ledbetter in a release. “We couldn't be more excited for this final phase of construction, and thanks to an outstanding design team, our community will continue to enjoy Angle Lake for years to come. We just need an outstanding contractor team to finish the puzzle.”

The city will open construction bids Jan. 29 for improvements to 3.5 acres of the park, including the addition of a water spray park as the focal piece.

Ledbetter said he visited about 20 regional spray parks to get ideas, and as a result he said the Angle Lake spray park will have more water — 300 gallons per minute — than any other in the area. It also will have a “mega-soaker,” which is a 55-gallon drum that dumps water on not-so-unsuspecting kids below.

To save water, the new spray park will have a recirculation system similar to those used in pools. Ledbetter said it will use about 90,000 gallons of water per year instead of 1 million gallons in a non-recirculation system. Waterplay Solutions is working with the city on the spray park.

Two more picnic shelters will be built in phase two, and a mechanical addition to the restroom building. Other improvements will be earth work and erosion control, a timber arbor, picnic pads, more parking, concrete curbs and walls, stairs, metal fence gates, steel handrails, irrigation, and extensive mechanical and electrical changes.

The $2 million first phase added a performance stage, restrooms, picnic shelter, play areas and an arbor. It also removed an old caretaker quarters and beach house. It was built by Precision Earthworks and designed by MacLeod Reckord, with Arai Jackson (now Arai Jackson Ellison Murakami) designing the restrooms and picnic shelter.

MacLeod Reckord also designed the second phase, with Arai Jackson Ellison Murakami designing the new picnic shelters to complement the wood craftsman look of the existing shelters. New structures will also have stone masonry finishes on the lower portions.

“It is very gratifying to see a 16-year-old master plan come to fruition,” said MacLeod Reckord principal Ed MacLeod in the release. “This second phase of improvements will better accommodate the heavy use that this popular park enjoys, while providing an exciting new water play area located in the underutilized west lawn.”

Work on phase two is expected to start next month and finish by the end of June, in time for the city's annual International Festival.

Ledbetter said the park dates back to the 1930s, when it had a dance hall and giant waterslide that flowed into the lake. It was run by King County until SeaTac became a city in 1990 and took over.

Ledbetter said another $500,000 will be needed for future work involving upgrades to the lifeguard building, boat dock and fishing pier.

He hopes that won't take another 16 years.


Anonymous said...

Why would you put a water spray park at a waterfront park?
Why not put a spray park at North SeaTac Park where they do not have a lake to play in and they could cool off after using all the other multitude of other activities?
Better yet, why are we spending 2 million dollars in this economy?
The Angle Lake park is well used and does not have enough parking to accomodate the existing activities.
Why not spend the 2 million on phase 1 developement of the hughes property.
Angle lake Parkis fine, just keep it cleaned up, keep the druggies out and fix the irrigation that has been leaking for two years, that makes the grass soggy.
A water spray park is a waste of money at a waterfront park and it will only be used 3 months out of the year.
The water is fine at Angle Lake and so is the park!

Anonymous said...

because kids would already have their swim suits on