Monday, March 19, 2018

Memorial Stadium: What Part of "Memorial" Does the District Not Get?

A story in the Times caught my eye about a young man earning his Eagle Scout recognition, Peter Gockowski, who wanted to clean up the wall of honor at Memorial Stadium.

Gockowski learned the stadium was built in 1947 to honor Seattle high-school student alumni who died in World War II, and he saw their names on a memorial wall outside. Nearly 800 people are listed.

Noticing that the wall was partly obscured by trash-strewn, overgrown hedges, the would-be Eagle Scout obtained permission from Seattle Public Schools for a cleanup.

He and a half-dozen other Boy Scouts made good on the plan Saturday, removing seven bags of garbage, including beer bottles and pizza boxes, he said, and trimming the hedges to better exhibit the service members’ names.
PictureI recall, maybe a decade ago, when the district was shamed in this manner for not keeping that area clear and presentable.  The district PROMISED to keep it clear.

These are SPS students who fought and died in WWI.  Apparently, that means nothing to some in district leadership. 

And district officials, including Board members and staff, were recently there to sign an MOU and didn't notice the conditions? 


From the PI on the history of the stadium (partial):

1948: President Harry Truman speaks at Memorial Stadium, which also was the site of the first local television broadcast — a tie football game between West Seattle and Wenatchee.

1951: On May 29, War Memorial Shrine bearing the names of 762 Seattle schools graduates killed in World War II is dedicated.  

April 21, 1962: Memorial Stadium hosts the opening ceremonies for the World’s Fair.

1967: Memorial Stadium becomes the first high school stadium in the country to have artificial turf.


Anonymous said...

When I was in high school (early 2000s), I actually called facilities and asked why that area was so overgrown and why the fountains didn't work.

They said the fountains leaked, so they can't turn them on and that they'd try to keep it trimmed better.


lowell parent said...

We should focus our thanks and gratitude towards Peter Gockowski for his service.

Anonymous said...

If there's an earthquake during a football game there will be another 600 dead to memorialize. That stadium is a death trap.

Good job scouts.


Anonymous said...

I see Parma as the type of entity (read foreign developer) who would oppose all earthquake retrofit plans anyway.


Anonymous said...


Noted earthquake expert Hiroo Kanamori was just at UW speaking about our woeful lack of building codes designed to prevent death and destruction.


She has stated that our efforts to encourage stockpiling food and water are misplaced, we should be retrofitting our city so that the water supply is not destroyed, as they are now doing in Los Angeles.

Memorial sure looks scary to me with those spindly pillars supporting the roof. I get real nervous at games there, but then I saw the aftermath of the 1989 World Series quake and how the Nimizt Freeway collapsed, downtown Santa Cruz was destroyed, etc.

If my kid wasn't in the band I'd never go into that place.


Anonymous said...

In the mid 80s I worked in the Athletic Office as a substitute secretary. I spent one summer cleaning out their files, which dated back to the 1920s. The most interesting thing I sent to archives was the original plans for a district athletic complex - at Lower Woodland. If memory serves, this was proposed in the 1930s. It would have had a track, as well as a stadium. The most heartbreaking thing was a file of letters from parents whose children had been left off the memorial. They included personal information and where and when they had died. I hope that the names were added. This file is also in the District archives. And yes, it's a crime how we do not have regular maintenance, even an organized volunteer effort, to maintain that memorial.

Anonymous said...

"A full rip of the Cascadia subduction zone would be a devastating event up and down the West Coast. The subduction zone extends from Eureka, California, to mid-Vancouver Island. A Cascadia event could cause up to a 9.0 magnitude quake with intense shaking lasting up to five minutes. The shaking would level un-reinforced buildings and roadways, sever utility lines and rupture gas and oil pipelines. About 20 minutes later, a tsunami would hit the West Coast and cause destruction similar to the March 2011 megaquake in Japan. Up to 13,000 people could die."
By Neal McNamara , Patch Staff | Feb 23, 2017 12:38 pm ET | Updated Feb 24, 2017 9:11 am ET

"A magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami could kill up to 7,600 students and staff and cause $4 billion in damage and losses to schools, according to a 2014 study commissioned by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates almost 75 percent of coastal schools and one in five schools along the I-5 corridor could suffer extensive damage, including collapse."
Originally published July 13, 2016 at 6:00 am Updated July 15, 2016 at 2:24 am Seattle Times

Sounds like the developers will have their heyday AFTER the quake.

The city is upgrading the Space Needle for earthquake safety. I guess the students just get a prayer.