On this page, find FAQ for Process, Original Issues, and Fundraising
This section should answer frequently asked questions about the Sunset Park/Boeing Creek Open Space project process.
- How did the Sunset Park project start?
- After the Friends of Sunset Park was started, what happened next?
- How did the City get involved?
- What did the agreement between the School District and the City look like?
- How did this visioning process get going?
- How is the visioning process organized?
- What have the Steering Group and Community Meetings accomplished?
- Who has participated in the visioning process?
- We're almost done with meetings; what happens to our plan next?
- Is this really going to happen? What about funding?
A: Sunset Elementary School closed at the end of the 2006-2007 school year due to declining enrollments. The school site was then boarded up and decommissioned by the Shoreline School District (District).
In the months following the school closure there was a growing interest in the community with regard to the future of the school site and the adjacent playground and open space. This interest led to the creation of a citizen’s group known as the Friends of Sunset Park (Friends). The purpose of the Friends was to energize the community and have a broad based planning effort to look at the creative re-use of the former school site and playground.
Q: After the Friends of Sunset Park was started, what happened next?
A: On November 17, 2008, the Richmond Highlands Neighborhood Association submitted a mini-grant application to the Shoreline City Council. The funds were to be used to support a professionally facilitated community visioning process to develop a long-term plan for a public park at the closed elementary school site. The total dollar request was $5,000; the value of the neighborhood match was estimated to be $19,625 in both cash contributions and volunteer time. The City Council graciously approved the grant request, which really got the process moving.
Q: How did the City get involved?
A: In early spring 2009, the Friends approached the City of Shoreline to gauge the City’s interest in participating in the Sunset Park project. Staff from the City’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department (PRCS) began discussions with the Friends to see if they were amenable to including the undeveloped 4.5 acre Boeing Creek Open Space site into the planning process for Sunset Park. The Friends were supportive of the idea of combining both sites in the planning effort and the City’s commitment to add funds to the planning process would benefit both sites.
In April, 2009, the Friends and city staff began discussions with the Shoreline School District to better understand the Districts position on developing a plan for the Sunset School site. The District was amenable to having the site developed for park purposes, but wanted to retain ownership of the property and retain the long-term right to re-use the site for school purposes should demographic conditions dramatically change in the future.
Q: What did the agreement between the School District and the City look like?
A: It was determined that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the District and the City would be appropriate to lay out the roles, responsibilities and expectations of each party in the visioning process for the joint study and subsequent development of the Sunset School park site. A preliminary draft was prepared by the City and the District made modifications for discussion. Following subsequent meetings between the District, the City and the Friends, a final MOU was prepared for City Council and School Board review. The MOU was adopted by both the School Board and the Shoreline City Council in October of 2009. MOU
Q: How did this visioning process get going?
A: Representatives from the Shoreline School District, the City of Shoreline and the Friends met with The Pomegranate Center to discuss the parameters of a visioning process for the combined Sunset Park and Boeing Creek Open Space sites. A scope of work for the visioning effort outlined a seven month long process beginning in November of 2009 and terminating with a concept plan proposed for adoption by both the Shoreline City Council and the Shoreline School Board in May of 2010.
The City of Shoreline executed a contract with The Pomegranate Center in October of 2009 in the amount of $49,990.50. The Friends contributed $15,000 to the contract amount with the City providing the balance of $34,990.50 from the Boeing Creek Park Capital Improvement Program (CIP) project.
Q: How is the visioning process organized?
A: The Pomegranate Center recommended the establishment of two groups to oversee the visioning process. The Leadership Team is composed of a representative from the Friends, City and District staff, Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services (PRCS) Board and Pomegranate Center. The Leadership Team serves as a policy and decision-making group to the process in setting project goals, ground rules and overall direction to the effort. The Steering Group is composed of fifteen community members who represent various interest groups both in Shoreline generally and in the communites adjacent to the two properties. The process includes three community meetingsand a day-long community design charette, which was held on March 6, where residents shared their design ideas for Sunset Park and the Boeing Creek Open Space, assisted by volunteer design professionals.
Q: What have the Steering Group and Community Meetings accomplished?
A: The first Steering Group meeting was held on November 10, 2009. The visioning process was explained in detail by Milenko Matanovic, the executive director of The Pomegranate Center. Draft ground rules provided by the Leadership Team were reviewed and adopted by the Steering Group and the Group discussed how promotional efforts for the upcoming Community meetings could be best coordinated.
The first Community Meeting was held on Tuesday evening, January 19, 2010. More than 120 Shoreline residents attended the meeting, with each attendee given an opportunity to express their top priority for development of the two sites (minutes).
At the second Community Meeting on February 23, 2010, more than 80 Shoreline citizens broke into small discussion groups to again express their preferences for site development and to sketch these preferences on aerial photographs of the two sites provided by the City. Each small group was given an opportunity to present their development proposals to the audience and discussion ensued about commonalities and priorities for development (minutes).
At the day-long Design Charette on March 6, 2010, more than 50 people toured the two sites and then gathered again in small groups to further develop design ideas. Volunteer professional designers sat in on these sessions to provide guidance and graphic support to the citizen planning effort (minutes).
The Steering Group meets after each community meeting to review meeting outcomes and work to reconcile possible conflicts between design proposals, ground rules and project goals for the Sunset Park and Boeing Creek Open Space sites.
Q: Who has participated in the visioning process?
A: More than 180 people have participated in the process so far. For a scatter map of the participating households, click here. We had great participation in general, and from the area closest to the site in particular. We were unable to map folks who did not sign in, or who signed in without and address or home phone number - but we think this is pretty accurate.
Q: We're almost done with meetings; what happens to our plan next?
A: Progress briefings on the visioning project are scheduled with both the Shoreline City Council and the Shoreline School Board in early April, 2010. The last Community Meeting is scheduled for April 6, 2010 where the design proposals will be presented and an effort will be made to initiate “early success” projects that will flow out of the visioning effort. This may take the form of volunteer-made “Gateways” or other design features for the two sites.
The PRCS Board was briefed on the Sunset Park and Boeing Creek Open Space project in both January and March of this year and individual members of the Board have attended each of the community meetings for the project. Because of the Board’s involvement with the project it is anticipated that the Board will review and adopt the concept plan for Sunset Park and Boeing Creek Open Space Park at its April 22, 2010 meeting.
It is anticipated that staff will recommend that City Council adopt the concept plan for Sunset Park/Boeing Creek Open Space in early May, 2010. Similarly, it is anticipated that the Shoreline School District Board will review and adopt the plan in early May, 2010.
Q: Is this really going to happen? What about funding?
A: The next step in moving the concept plan for Sunset Park and Boeing Creek Open Space towards reality is to make an application to potential funding sources in the State.
During preliminary planning for the visioning effort, City staff committed to make application to the State of Washington Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) to fund first phase construction at the Sunset Park and Boeing Creek Open Space sites. To meet the requirements for this application process, the City needs to translate the concept plan from the visioning process into more detailed design drawings and cost estimates for a first phase construction project at each site.
To that end, in early February, 2010 the City of Shoreline solicited Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) for landscape architecture services to create the necessary project drawings and cost estimates to fulfill the application requirements. The City received nine proposals on the February 19, 2010 deadline for proposals. Three design teams were interviewed by the Sunset Leadership Team on March 10, 2010. Following deliberation by the Sunset Leadership Team, JGM Landscape Architects was selected to prepare the design documents for the RCO Grant applications. The timeline to complete this work is very tight and JGM Landscape Architects is committed to provide design development level drawings and cost estimates by the end of June, 2010. Negotiations for the design contract for this work are currently underway. Design work would be split into two phases:
- Phase 1 provides design development drawings and cost estimates for the RCO Grant application.
- Phase 2 provides construction documents and construction observation services if funding is successful.
The project budget for a Phase 1 contract is $30,000. It is anticipated that a contract for the Phase 1 work will be in place in early April, 2010.
Design FAQ These Design Frequently Asked Questions will address and explain some of the design features that have come out of the community meetings.
- I couldn't make any of the meetings. Can I see the plan?
- I hear there's an amphitheatre in the middle of this. What's that about?
- What will the park hours be?
- What about parking?
- I still need clarification, and I'd like to make a couple of comments. Where can I do that?
Q: I couldn't make any of the meetings. Can I see the plan? A: The "plan" has gone through many iterations, with features being added and subtracted based on feedback from neighbors, community members, and design professionals. The most current Sunset Park plan is here. The most current Boeing Creek Open Space plan is here. Based on the community feedback and the realities of the two spaces, the emerging design envisions a quiet, neighborhood park area. Keep in mind that these are still in draft form, and are subject to change based on final feedback, and environmental and financial limitations.
Q: I hear there's an amphitheatre in the middle of this. What's that about?
A: The "amphitheatre" is a small gathering space in the middle of the design, with a seating area facing the view of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. There is no power or lighting, and it is not designed to be a concert area as occurs in some of our Shoreline parks. The purpose is more of a reflective gathering space... think early morning coffee with neighbors, soccer awards, and preschool "plays" for their parents. For scale, you can see that it is approximately the same size as the baseball backstop.
Q: What will the park hours be?
A: The City of Shoreline's parks are open from 9 am until dusk. There was discussion of adding path lighting, but that was taken off the current design plan to align with the City's ordinances.
Q: What about parking?
A: There is parking designated on the design plan, along with a dropoff for kids participating in sports. This should mitigate the illegal street parking that occurs during sporting events currently.
Q: I still need clarification, and I'd like to make a couple of comments. Where can I do that?
A: There are several ways that you can still leave input or get clarification. First, you can use the Contact Us page on this site. Second, you can contact the program manager at the City, Dave Buchan, by calling (206) 801-2475 or sending him an email at email@example.com.
Here are the answers to our most frequently asked questions.
- Who are the Friends of Sunset Park?
- What was the initial fundraising for?
- Are the Shoreline School District and the City of Shoreline involved in the process?
- What's going to happen to the building?
- What if I want to get involved now?
- What happened with the Shoreline Historical Museum?
Q: Who are the Friends of Sunset Park?
A: Friends of Sunset Park (FoSP) is a grassroots Shoreline citizens' group formed to support the development of a community-led-and-supported plan for a community park and gathering place at the site of the recently closed Sunset Elementary School. FoSP was first formed by parents of former Sunset Elementary School students.
Q: What was the initial fundraising for?
A: The community fundraising campaign will help pay for the facilitation of the community visioning process for the Sunset site. By having a plan in place, the project will be poised for future budgeting processes, public and private grantmaking, and broad community support.Pomegranate Center, a well-respected local non-profit organization that specializes in facilitating community visioning processes and developing community gathering spaces, will facilitate the Sunset Park visioning process. More information about Pomegranate Center, with examples of their many successful projects, is available atwww.pomegranate.org.
Q: Are the Shoreline School District and the City of Shoreline involved in the process?
A: Yes, both the School District and City are supportive, and have worked closely together with FoSP to move the process forward. In September 2009 an agreement was passed by both the school board and city council that establishes the parameters under which the two parties will proceed. You can read that agreement in the documents tab.
The City of Shoreline is covering a major portion of the costs of the visioning process, and both the City and the School District will be active participants in the community visioning process.
Q: What's going to happen to the building?
A: At this point the building presents a challenge: it is an expense and liability for the school district and an unattractive part of the neighborhood. The current agreement allows the school district to rent the building while the park development process is underway. The option of removing the building is also being explored. While no decisions have been reached, it is a priority for the school district to reduce their expense and liability on the site.
Q: What if I want to get involved now?
A: Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our mailing list. Click on the "Home" button for a listing of the community meetings, and mark your calendar!!
Q: What happened with the Shoreline Historical Museum?
A: The Shoreline School District and the Shoreline Historical Museum recently reached an agreement that allows the Museum to support passage of the February 9, 2010 School Bond Proposition #2 and assures the future of the Shoreline Historical Museum in the Ronald School Building.
The Museum agreed to purchase property near its current site and the School District agreed to relocate the old Ronald Elementary School, which houses the museum, to the new site.
As part of that agreement, the School District agreed to allow the Museum to use the Sunset School building for its operations and storage during the structural relocation of the Ronald School Building.
While the details will not be worked out until after the passage of the bond, both the School District and the Museum anticipate that the Museum will not occupy the Sunset site for an extended period of time so that construction of the new high school can move forward toward completion by 2013 and the Museum can be in its new location in time for its 100th anniversary celebration in 2011.
In the meantime, community visioning for the Sunset Park/Boeing Creek Open Space can (will) move forward as planned, with the understanding that the Museum’s use of the site is temporary and that park development plans will be implemented in stages over time.
To read the School District and Museum agreement, visit Shoreline School District and Shoreline Historical Museum agreement: http://www.shorelineschools.org/news/release.php?releasesid=953
Fundraising FAQRCO Grant As you will remember, we were very excited about the prospects of an RCO grant from the State to assist with the development of the Boeing Creek Open Space and Sunset Elementary Park. It looks now like the Boeing Creek Open Space portion has a great chance of getting funded; there are some issues, however, with the requirements for Sunset. The grant specifies that the property must be used for the activities that the grant will fund for at least 25 years; we can guarantee that at the Open Space, but not on the School District property. Here is a letter from Dick Deal explaining the city’s decision not to pursue RCO funding for Sunset.Here are links for more information on the RCO process:
RCO info: Here is a link to the schedule if you want to know more: http://www.rco.wa.gov/grants/schedules/lwcf.shtml.
Here is the link for a description of the Grant: http://www.rco.wa.gov/grants/lwcf.shtml.
So what's next for the Sunset Elementary Park funding?
We are continuing to explore options for the development of the park. We have done a walk-through of the building to get ballpark estimates on demolition or deconstruction. Once we have a good idea of what's involved and how much it will cost, we can start applying for grants, or doing alternative fundraising.
What we DO know is that it is difficult to find an agency that is excited about spending money only on demolition. We are hoping to find a few different sources who are willing to look at this project as a whole, with the deconstruction costs as part of the bigger picture. The District is picking up the hazardous waste abatement costs, and we will likely be able to use those funds as a match to any available grants.