Update: Grant Awarded, Playground Paint Party!

The Pathfinder Playground Revamp was awarded the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund large grant! Thanks to the City of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods for helping us really get the ball rolling with our new design.

August Paint Party:

August 21st the playground is getting a little facelift in preparation for our new design. With a Capital One $4,000 grant for the school, we are having a work party to do projects all over the school–and the playground is one of them. That means we can get started painting the braided stream and adding new features like a labyrinth and accurate US map.

Are you ready to help us on August 21st? We need 6-8 folks ready to help lead the volunteers for the day, help organize supplies the day before, and a few creatives to help us make stencils to add some critter prints to the playground. Interested? Email pathfinderplayground2014@gmail.com – Thank You!

Here’s a peek at the new design! The school district is still working on the feasibility of the fence changes, but we expect that to be part of phase one. If fundraising needs are met, and the bids come in as expected, the equipment and surfacing of the blue areas will also be Phase 1.

Pathfinder Final Plan Labeled

Come see and eat ice cream to celebrate!

You’re Invited:

Pathfinder K8 playground final poster new date

Created by Bill Reiswig, parent volunteer.

Our final design meeting is a celebration as we get to see the final playground design and discuss next steps to breaking ground. Plus, there will be ice cream (vegan and regular)!

Update:

The Playground Committee finished the City of Seattle Large Grant review process with an in person interview and pitch to the city review board and fellow applicants on Tuesday, June 10th. Thanks to Laura Murray and Shannon Ninburg for creating this comprehensive display and the many others who contributed photos and documents:
PlaygroundDisplay

Next Steps:

The timeline for the playground build is to break ground in Summer 2015.

To get there, we need to raise roughly $100,000 in addition to what we’ve already sought through grants. We use the term roughly, because of the process of construction. While our playground design is finished, it’s like a set of house plans – we know where the windows and doorways will be, but we get to decide on the materials to build it.

For example, we may want a spin toy feature, but depending on which one we choose, the cost varies just like when buying windows for a house. There are numerous decisions to be made before our playground is complete, and money is going to be a key deciding factor in how we get to build it. The design plans will come with a break down for phases, so that way we can work with what we have funding to build. We need you to help us move forward, make these kinds of decisions and help raise funds!

Come celebrate our progress at the meeting: Monday, June 16th, 5:30-7pm.

Final Stage of Playground Design: Give Your Input

The May 20th meeting was a good one. There was a smaller crowd, but there were many new faces and active participants. Seeing the three designs that Johnson Southerland created out of all the ideas from the April meeting was really exciting. We don’t get to choose the actual equipment yet. We are now choosing the design in which play equipment will sit.
To answer a question asked by many: Yes, the current playground equipment will stay. The additional play equipment area(s) have three emphases:  1) Challenging climbing and upper body, 2) Rocking and spinning, 3) Nature integration
Note that (re)painting the blacktop are things we can do outside of these designs — with enough parent support. Also, the rubberized surfaces v.s. the wood chips may turn out to be a financial issue. Rubber surfacing is more expensive. It comes down to fundraising (that post is coming…).
Take a look at the below landscape footprint design concepts (or click here to open the PDF 3-page version). At the bottom of the page you can vote on your top 6 elements.
1) Glacial Features
GlacierCropped
2) Forest Integration
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Forest Integration detail: “School Floor Compass w/Concrete Benches and Tree Planters” (outside the cafeteria doors)
Pathfinder-Forest-Int-Compass-Section
Forest Integration Detail: “Woodchip Play & Tree Planters w/Concrete Root Benches” (along the west fence)
Pathfinder Forest Int Detail
3) Magnetic
MagneticCropped
Magnetic Detail, top view: “School View Compass and Whirligigs”
Pathfinder-Magnetic-Concept-Compass-Detail
Magnetic Detail, side view: “School View Compass and Whirligigs”
Pathfinder-Magnetic-Concept-Compass-Section
“Gateway to the Wild.” Note that there are wood cut-outs and interpretive info about the greenspace attached to the fence. A gateway is created with greenery.Pathfinder_Entry
Each design had a lot more to it than the above, and we were asked to pick and choose our favorite elements among them. The parts of each that we love the most can be put into one Master Design Plan.
To get more feedback and include more people, we have set up this survey in which you can vote on the design elements. There are 18 element options. Please select your top 6 favorites. If you already voted at the meeting, please do not vote again.
All votes must be in by next Friday, the 30th. Kids can vote too. Please vote only once!
The next meeting is June 16th, 5:30-7pm!

Don’t Miss This Meeting!

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On May 20th, Johnson Sutherland will present their concepts based on our feedback at the first meeting. Our input will shape the final design before it goes to the School District for final review. Everyone is welcome to attend, and snacks will be served.

photoWhen: May 20th, 5:30-7pm

Where: Pathfinder K8, Cafeteria

SAVE THE DATE: Design Reveal + Ice Cream Social!

DATE CHANGED: June 16th, 5:30-7pm

Meeting note: I have heard from many that cannot attend who want to provide input. We will be sharing the concept plans and a survey the day after the meeting, stay tuned!

About the designs…

I got to peek at the 3 preliminary designs today. They were all great improvements over what we have now. The designers are going with the idea that our playground as-is sits like a desert surrounded by fertile land. They are working hard to create imaginative spaces out of our blacktop.

Here are some descriptions of the three designs I saw, in no particular order:

The designs are all three about changing the landscape to incorporate and blend it more with the natural landscape around it. There are lots of trees and bushes around the edges, inside and outside of the fence. The fence is moved out towards the greenspace, towards the field, and towards the classrooms in the three different designs. There are boulders in clumps and as stepping paths. There is a design idea for a painted path that flows like a stream around the whole blacktop. There are spinning things on a squishy blue island and a big climber on a squishy blue island that sits against a crescent moon shaped hill. There were steps up to a compass that sat at the north end of our playground, half surrounded by grass that was reclaimed by the field. There were whirligigs. There was a compass that doubled as benches.

Tomorrow our designers will meet with the Seattle Public Schools people to approve the designs.

Important note about the process: The designers are not going to give us any play equipment designs. They are giving us designs for the whole space — it’s look and feel. They are changing the height of the land and the surfaces. They are suggesting where to put pockets of equipment, and how to integrate it into a design that is all about what people asked for in the first meeting and in the blog poll: greenspace integration/imagination/paths. When it is time to choose equipment has to be bid on and designed by a playground equipment company. We tell them we want “spinning, upper body and stepping stones, for 200,000″ — they give us designs. We have to choose the cheapest one that meets all our needs/specs.

Please come to the meeting, even if you’re late with hungry kids. Or, find a friend who will represent you.

Hope to see you there!

Toni

 

First Meeting Notes

We are so grateful for the 45 adults and about a dozen kids that came out to the first design meeting!

We brainstormed ideas and themes that matter to our community. Once we had a big list of those, we voted with stickers to prioritize them. Johnson Sutherland Design Team will now create some designs based on our meeting ideas…

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, May 20th from 5:30-7:00. Come see playground designs! At this meeting, our design firm, Johnson & Southerland, will present their first draft of ideas for our newly designed playground. This is super important if you want to have a say in the final design.

There will be snacks: veggies, fruits, chips, cheese and hummus. Any questions? Email us pathfinderplayground2014@gmail.com