The first phase to revamp the parking and stormwater collection at Dr. Standard Little League Park is anticipated to be finished in January. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

The first phase to revamp the parking and stormwater collection at Dr. Standard Little League Park is anticipated to be finished in January. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

First phase of Sequim Little League park revamp nears finish

No timeline, funding for final phases yet

SEQUIM — Most of the first phase to revamp Dr. Standard Little League Park in Sequim is done.

Construction at 124 W. Silberhorn Road by Jamestown Excavation started in the summer to turn a gravel driveway and grass field into an organized paved area with walkways, landscaping and a new stormwater system.

Mike Thomas, project manager with Lakeside Industries, said the company is targeting mid- to late January to pave the parking lot, weather permitting.

Rainy weather prevented crews from paving it earlier this month before their asphalt plant closed for maintenance Dec. 8. It will reopen the second week of January, Thomas said.

“It’s going to be a game-changer and a heck of a lot safer,” said Nick Simpson, Sequim Little League’s board president. “The curb appeal will be great.”

W. Ron Allen, the chairman/CEO of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, approached Simpson last year after seeing the park had gone relatively unchanged in 30 years since he made regular trips to the park with his family.

“I asked, ‘How about we help you upgrade the parking and flesh it out so it’s more of a classy park for family and friends?’” Allen said of his conversation with Simpson.

Little League board members agreed, and so did Sequim City Council members in August 2022 to parking lot plans as the City of Sequim and Little League each own a portion of the property in unincorporated Clallam County.

So far the tribe has paid for the engineering, design and construction, Allen said, with Lakeside Industries doing paving at cost, and ONA Landscaping donating staff time for designing the landscaping.

Park project phases

According to building plans via Clallam County, the project is planned for three phases.

Phase 1 includes 69,900 square feet paved with 156 parking stalls (six of which are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act) along with ADA walkways, including one from the new lot to the most northern field (Thatcher Field), and stormwater infrastructure.

Phase 2 will add 43 parking spaces and 19,200 square feet of paved lot in the southern portion of the park, with more ADA-accessible walkways and a new maintenance building.

Phase 3 along the western portion of the park will pave 13,500 square feet of parking and add eight stalls and an ADA-accessible walkway.

Allen estimates the total for Phase 1 at about $1 million out of the tribe’s general budget with no grants.

Because of rising costs, he said the tribe will not install lighting or landscaping until they can find other avenues or partners for funding. He said he hopes the City of Sequim will step up in some capacity.

No cost estimate or timeline is available for phases 2 or 3, Allen said.

Sequim city staff said a majority of phase 1 is taking place on the Little League’s portion of the park. Phases 2 and 3 would take place mostly on the city’s portion of land, according to county documents.

No funds for this project appear earmarked in the city’s 2024 budget, but a “key goal” for the parks department is to “identify funding sources for playground construction for Margaret Kirner, Dr. Standard, and Carrie Blake Parks.”

Playground addition

Earlier this year, city staff, with assistance from League of Women Voters of Clallam County volunteers, surveyed community members and school children about design preferences at the parks.

At Dr. Standard Little League Park, voters largely favored a “Forest Creature” design with a large Sasquatch structure connected to a net climbing structure, spinner and a seesaw.

City staff budgeted the project at about $719,000 in three years.

Simpson said the Little League’s board was in favor of adding any playground equipment as they don’t have any amenities like that now.

The city’s Capital Improvement Program 2024-2029 schedule includes $100,000 to replace the park’s dugouts in 2029, but the funding schedule includes about $3.7 million in other parks projects budgeted during that span.

It also contained $450,000 with both city and grant funding annually from 2025 to 2027 to fund park design projects prior to cost estimates being available.

City staff indicated to city council members they’ll need to aggressively pursue grant funding because the city doesn’t have the funds to do the design projects on its own.

Simpson said the Little League has not had to put any money toward the parking lot project as it operates on an annual budget of about $35,000 to $40,000.

“We just don’t have the funds alone to do it,” he said. “There are grants available, but it takes up so much time and everyone on the board works full time.

“When something like this happens, it’s a breath of fresh air. These kids deserve it.”

For more about Sequim Little League, visit sequimlittleleague.com.

________

Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at matthew.nash@sequimgazette.com.

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