Metro Parks Tacoma

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Project Updates

Capital Projects Update – October 2018

Partnership Initiatives

  • Eastside Community Center
    Metro Parks is working with Tacoma Public Schools, the City of Tacoma, Tacoma Housing Authority, Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound, and the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties to develop a new facility to meet the needs of the Eastside community. We’ll have more updates in the months ahead.
    Status:Finalizing all of the miscellaneous items left (miscellaneous inspections, punch list items, landscaping). Grand opening celebration for the center scheduled for October 20, 2018.
  • Prairie Line Trail
    Metro Parks is coordinating with the City of Tacoma for an extension of the urban trail that follows the former Prairie Line Rail corridor from South 23rd Street through the UW Tacoma campus and extending to Dock Street along the Thea Foss Waterway. This phase will complete the trail from Pacific Avenue to Dock Street.
    Status: The City is in the right-of-way phase of finalizing easements and is scheduled to bid after the first of the year.

Point Defiance Park Projects
(see for more information about Waterfront Phase I and the Master Plan Update)

  • Point Defiance Park - Waterfront Phase 1
    Complete the public pathway from Point Ruston to Point Defiance Park with a new trail and bridge over Pearl Street. Provide a new location for boat and trailer parking to support the existing boat launch. Finish the remediation work at the Point Defiance peninsula and establish a new park on the peninsula land.
    Status: Construction of Wilson Way is nearly complete pending the completion of connecting trails and nearby landscaping. Paving is ongoing for trails, plazas and parking lot areas. The restroom pavilion building is approaching completion. Final site furnishings, lighting & public art are in progress. Lawn areas continue to mature in anticipation of a summer 2019 opening.
  • Point Defiance Park -– Roundabout
    Design and build a roundabout at the entrance to Point Defiance Park, while updating the intersection at 51st & Pearl and providing a bike lane from 51st to 54th.
    Status: Project is substantially complete and will reach final completion once all the punch-list items are complete.
  • Parking and Circulation Study
    This is a full comprehensive study for the vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic circulation and additional parking at Point Defiance Park. After study is completed, will be presented with alternatives for additional parking and improved circulation.
    Status: The final Parking & Circulation Study has been submitted. The design scope of work is complete and waiting on final approval confirmation.
  • Japanese Garden Design
    In cooperation with Tacoma’s sister city Kitakyushu, this project will reconstruct the Japanese garden in front of the Pagoda in the traditional style. This phase will complete the design as we work with Japanese Garden Designers from Japan.
    Status: On hold pending final recommendations of Shared Use Trail system under Point Defiance Parking and Circulation Study as this influences final design of the Japanese Garden Expansion design.
  • Green House Relocation
    Relocated greenhouse production operations to the Tacoma Landfill.
    Status: Project is in closeout.
  • Boat Lift Improvements
    Improvements will be made to the grates, guide beams, lift enclosures, switches and other improvements as a result of the inspection/design process.
    Status: Delays with L&I have impacted the project completion.
  • Point Defiance Owen Beach Improvements
    Site improvements at Owen Beach that include new restroom building, renovation and addition of new shelter, new playground, kayak launch and beach accessibility, parking, landscaping and walkway improvements.
    Status: Revisiting sea level rise and building placement before starting Design Development.

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
(also see the zoo’s capital projects page for more information)

  • New Aquarium
    Design and construction of a new aquarium to replace the aging North Pacific Aquarium.
    Status: New aquarium is complete and open to the public.
  • Picnic Shelter
    Construct a picnic shelter to be placed in the location where Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium currently sets up tents for this purpose every summer. This is to be a permanent structure.
    Status: The contractor will erect the building on the slab in October. 

Other Highlights from Neighborhood Council Areas

New Tacoma

  • W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory Restoration and Expansion
    Renovation and expansion of the conservatory. Steering committee formed and schematic design is underway.
    Status: Applied for State Heritage Grant that will be granted the summer of 2019.  If awarded, funds will go towards upgrades to the existing conservatory and the 3 facades.
  • W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory Restroom
    Design Development through construction of a restroom connecting to the existing conservatory.
    Status: The green screen is installed.  Concrete finishing in the interior and small items being completed. Waiting on glass gasket and metal work delivery.
  • Foss Waterway Parks
    In collaboration with the Foss Waterway Development Authority this project includes the design for two park sites along the Foss Waterway including a new boathouse facility for kayaks and shells.
    Status: Staff working on programming at Waterway Park, plus there will be further user group surveys sent out.  Ballard Kings next task is a ProForma. Central Park’s 100% Design Development is complete and comments have been received. Waiting on City of Tacoma permit to start construction.
  • Neighbors Park
    Play court resurfacing and ADA access.
    Status:  Will be completed under Phase 2 of the Districtwide Court Improvement project.

North Tacoma

  • Dickman Mill Park Expansion & Head Saw
    An extension of the existing Dickman Mill Park. This is to restore and publicly display the historic Head Saw and provide plaza space with expanded decking for viewing.
    Status: The project is on schedule with the art brief being reviewed again after numerous good comments. 100% design development drawings are complete and in review. All environmental permits have been submitted with the exception of the city shoreline that will be submitted this month.

South Tacoma

  • Meadow Park Facility Improvements
    Identification and implementation of improvements, including irrigation control and upgrades to the restrooms, restaurant and pro shop.
    Status: Status The Driving Range and smaller associated buildings (Ball Shed & Teaching Studio) reached substantial completion in May. We are awaiting coordination with PSE to complete the work. In the fall, the final improvements to the clubhouse (structural and ADA upgrade) will be bid out.
  • Meadow Park Hole #13 Bridge Improvements
    Structural Analysis of Bridge, Bridge Improvement Design Recommendations, Survey Baseline establishment for bridge monitoring.
    Status: Pre-application was submitted to the City of Tacoma and comments are expected mid-October. With permitting expected between October and December 2018. Bidding and construction set for January through March 2019.
  • Oak Tree Site Upgrades & Art Project
    Implementation of Development Plan to include new parking lot and seasonal restroom shelter, tool storage shed, trail and path upgrades, site furniture, tree removals, prairie expansions and native plantings to support Oak habitat,  new nature playground, park ID and wayfinding/ interpretive signage. After the city completed the Prairie Line Trail, Metro Parks Tacoma will provide restoration to two adjacent areas to the trail (pump house parking lot, gravel pit and partnering with the COT with an art project).
    Status: Project’s SEPA is expecting City of Tacoma approval in October 2018.  Bidding expected to start right after, with construction during November to December 2018.  
  • South Park
    Play court resurfacing and ADA access.
    Status: Will be completed under Phase 2 of the Districtwide Court Improvement project.

South End

  • Wapato Park – Dock Replacement
    This will replace the two wooden dock structures for improved access and paddleboat/ kayak launching and events.
    Status: Project is complete. 
  • Charlotte’s Blueberry Park Garden/Playground
    Design of community garden/park amenities. Continuation of public process to address possible addition of playfield, trails, and/or wetland enhancement.
    Status: Working on an agreement with TPL for grant money to fund the play equipment with anticipated installation in early spring 2019.
  • Verlo Playfield
    Basketball court resurfacing and ADA access. ADA access to tennis court, consider alternative use for tennis court area.
    Status: Will be completed under Phase 2 of the Districtwide Court Improvement project.
  • Stewart Heights Park
    Court improvements.
    Status: Construction will start in October.
  • Swan Creek Phase II - Master Plan Update and Construction
    Update masterplan and pursue conditional use permit
    Status: Public meetings were held and additional individual partner meetings are being scheduled.  Work continuing on a final plan for final review and presentation.

North East

  • Browns Point Lighthouse
    Accessible pathways and promenade, additional parking, new furnishings.
    Status: Project is substantial complete. Generator building improvements are underway (Sept - Nov 2018). These improvements are funded completely by Points NE Historical Society.
  • Browns Point Playfield
    Basketball and tennis court reconstruction due to large cracks, improve ADA parking and access route to basketball courts.  Make necessary improvements to play equipment.
  • Consultant working on Permit Drawings. Design and permitting this Fall/Winter 2018 and construction starts spring 2019.


  • Tacoma Nature Center Building and ADA Improvements
    The scope of work includes ADA upgrades and improvements to the entry ramp, and entry door; relocation of a utility pole at Discovery Pond; replacement of exterior wooden stair treads; and utility routing to Coyote Flats. There will also be minor site and signage upgrades on the TNC property and a Facility Assessment to the main building. Dependent upon the result of the facility assessment, the scope of work may shift to address needs at the main building.
    Status: SOQs have been submitted and under final review to develop construction and permit documents to improve and upgrade a failing exterior envelope (roof, windows, siding, doors, and exterior landings) of the main TNC building.

West End

  • Titlow Lagoon Design and Phase 1
    Provide matching funds for lagoon restoration in accordance with partnering agencies.
    Status: Geotechnical investigation completed in June 2018: Borings up to 80 feet deep on either side of the existing lagoon culvert were drilled and ground penetrating radar was completed along the BNSF right-of-way.
  • Titlow/Hidden Beach Improvements
    Hidden Beach and natural area trail/path/beach access upgrades. Landscaping enhancements, natural area restoration, demolition of shelter and old restroom at Hidden Beach. Utility modifications at former TOA facility. Remove or perform bridge retrofits to TOA Railroad bridge.
    Status: Scope of work will be confirmed in October 2018. Permitting to follow in fall/winter 2018 and demolition/construction during winter 2018-19. The 2nd public Meeting is scheduled for November 7 at 6 pm at the lodge.
  • Titlow Garage
    Renovation of existing shed building adjacent to Titlow Lodge to better serve the needs of parks operations and maintenance team.
    Status: Project will be publicly bid through the Small Works Roster in October 2018. Construction will occur December 2018.

Completed Projects:

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