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Ravensdale Park gets funding green light

The Metropolitan King County Council authorized funding to complete phase two of the Ravensdale Park project on Monday night, with hopes that the new ballfields, parking lot and concession stands will be ready by August.

The council gave unanimous approval to a use agreement between King County and the Ravensdale Park Foundation, clearing the way for construction of two synthetic ballfields and all related infrastructure at Ravensdale Park, which is located at Southeast Kent-Kangley Road and 272nd Avenue South.

“This is really the last piece and probably the most significant piece,” said Councilman Reagan Dunn, who represents Ravensdale on the council and was the lead sponsor of the ordinance. “It will always be a challenge to make sure we have enough recreation for families, but this is a special. It is going to be well above average and something we can be proud of for generations to come.”

The Ravensdale master plan was adopted in 2009, with the first phase, which included renovation of an existing ballfield, completed in January 2012.

Phase two has an expected budget of $6 million. Of that total, $2 million will come from a King County community partnerships grant, $2 million will come from a city of Maple Valley grant and $650,000 will come from a State of Washington grant. The remainder comes from community fundraising and in-kind support. Although construction was expected to be begin in January, Rob Nist, a director with the Ravensdale Park Foundation, said they are now targeting the first week in April.

“It just means that instead of using the fields in July we probably can’t use them until the end of August,” Nist said. “It is what it is. We are doing it as quickly as we can.”

The Metropolitan King County Council’s Transportation Economy and Environment Committee gave its unanimous approval of an ordinance on Feb. 18 that executed a 30-year agreement between King County and the foundation.

Nist said the phase is now fully funded and the permitting process is underway.

“It’s a complex project,” he said. “Everything just takes its time. With that being said, we are right at the finish line.”

Maple Valley Mayor Bill Allison said in a King County Council press release that this collaborative effort helps meet the “serious lack of athletic parks in Southeast King County.”

State Rep. Chad Magendanz said in the press release, “Projects like the Ravensdale Park are a great example of public and private stakeholders coming together to build better communities.”

The Ravensdale Park Foundation is a nonprofit organization set up to design and facilitate upgrades and enhancements to Ravensdale Park through a partnership with King County Parks. Nist said the third phase of the project is “not even a twinkle in the eye right now.”

 

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