Metro Parks Tacoma

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Project Updates

Capital Projects Update – July 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: In the month of July, exterior work is finishing up, along with site work. Much of the interior work will be approaching completion with this month. Most notably, the pool tile, plaster, and toys are slated to be installed and completed by the end of the month.
  • 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: Trail: Grading is largely complete and hardscape installation will continue through July and into August.
    Peninsula: The park pavilion building and its surrounding hardscape are the major peninsula items left to complete. The two peninsula buildings are waiting on doors and then will be complete. The third building will begin construction once the parking lot below the soil nail wall (Lot A) is complete (August).
    Bridge: Largely complete. Not yet substantially complete. Landscape installation to be completed fall 2018, including the hillside repairs which are underway.
  • Point Defiance Park -– Roundabouts
    Design and build roundabouts at the entrance to Point Defiance Park, while updating the intersection at 51st & Pearl and providing a bike lane from 51st to 54th.
    Status: Overhead utilities have been relocated and underground utility work is largely complete. The western half of the roundabout is largely complete. The exit from the bowl is in its permanent condition and in use. Traffic is currently being rerouted around the project and will be impacted until the project is complete. The contractor has been providing extra traffic control flaggers as necessary to keep traffic flowing as best as possible. Completion of the project is targeted for mid-June 2018.
  • 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 waiting on final internet connection.
  • 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: Structural work complete for all three lifts. #1 operating with current electrical components. Electrical work is ongoing for lift 2 & 3.
  • 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: Starting design development with all elements of the RCO grant.

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: Punch list on-going with art install in mid-August for the Glass Jelly and Shoal & Shimmer.
  • 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: Landscape around the building slab will be completed by July 1, in time for the summer season. As done in the past, a tent will be placed on the slab for picnic use until the contractor comes back in October to erect the building on the slab. 
  • Polar Bear Exhibit
    This exhibit opened in 1982 as part of the Rocky Shores/ Arctic Tundra Exhibit. It won the AZA Exhibit of the Year Award in 1983. This project is a significant upgrade and renovation to this historic exhibit.
    Status: Project cancelled

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: Project is complete. Applied for a State Historical Heritage Grant.
  • W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory Restroom
    Design Development through construction of a restroom connecting to the existing conservatory.
    Status: Electrical and siding is advancing. The glass gasket is in manufacturing.
  • 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: : Waterway Park is starting with a Management and Operations Plan. Ballard King presented results from field trips and research at a June 14 staff meeting. Staff is now tasked with programming, plus there will be further user group surveys. Central Park is reviewing 50% Design Development, working toward 100%. Permit meetings are taking place and a local parks RCO grant is in process.
  • Neighbors Park
    Play court resurfacing and ADA access.
    Status:  Will be completed under Phase 2 of the Districtwide Court Improvement project in 2018.

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:Art Brief is in the review process. 100% Design Development Drawings complete and is in review. Staff is reviewing Critical Areas, Biological Assessment and Cultural Resource studies at this time. Looking to submit some environmental permitting in August.

South Tacoma

  • Meadow Park Facility Improvements
    Identification and implementation of improvements, including irrigation control and upgrades to the restrooms, restaurant and pro shop.
    Status: TThe 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: Bridge analysis is complete and report has been submitted. Survey monitoring and design options being completed.
  • 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: Currently preparing SEPA for review in June/July. Going out for bid in August with construction targeted to start September 2018.
  • South Park
    Play court resurfacing and ADA access.
    Status: Will be completed under Phase 2 of the Districtwide Court Improvement project in 2018.

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: Construction is underway.
  • 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 in 2018.
  • Stewart Heights Park
    Court improvements.
    Status: Construction to occur in Summer 2018.
  • Swan Creek Phase II - Master Plan Update and Construction
    Update masterplan and pursue conditional use permit
    Status: The first steering committee meeting is May 24. The topographic survey is being produced and getting ready for cultural resource study.

North East

  • Browns Point Lighthouse
    Accessible pathways and promenade, additional parking, new furnishings.
    Status: Construction currently underway.
  • 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.
    Status: On site meeting earlier this spring confirmed intent to provide connecting paths to children's play area, court areas and baseball field. Consultant will begin Design Development documents.


  • 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 are under 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: Topographic and Boundary Survey complete. Titlow Park Master Plan Update second public meeting to be held later this summer.
  • 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 August 2018. Construction will occur after the summer camps are completed, in late-August/early-September 2018.

Completed Projects:

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