REMNDER: Dakota Place Park Open House will be a party tonight Oct. 20

Dakota Place Park, which for the past six years, has been an idea to transform a former power substation into a community gathering place and park will finally be completely realized Oct. 20. The building and grounds at 4304 SW Dakota Street have been transformed and will be celebrated with an Open House and community gathering from 2pm to 5pm. Food and beverages will be served.

The newly renovated space will serve as a satellite facility for Hiawatha Community Center and while work on the exterior was done in 2009 and a dedication held, the interior work was not completed until recently.

The building features 2 multi-purpose rooms, 2 ADA compatible restrooms, small food prep area, storage space, sound system and fold out mirrors for dance classes.

The Friends of Dakota Place Park was the driving force in this development which had a budget from the Pro Parks Levy Reserve Fund including a $500,000 contribution and an Associated Recreation Council $180,000 contribution for a total of $680,000.

As the West Seattle Herald reported in 2006, many hands helped make the park what it is including the West Seattle Garden Tour, the Hiawatha Community Center Advisory Council, Arts West, First Lutheran Church of West Seattle, Westside Children's Dentistry, Endolyne Garden Club and the Tilden School.

The Seattle Parks and Recreation page offers details:

• The Friends of Dakota Place Park fundraising, together with a Neighborhood Matching Fund Grant from the Department of Neighborhoods, provided integrated art work, site furnishings, and extensive plantings.

• Project elements include: plaza with integrated artwork, ADA access, site lighting, multiple seating elements, refurbishing existing historic elements, automated irrigation, and partial rehabilitation of the exiting historic City Light Substation Building.

• Building improvements include: hazardous material abatement, historically correct window and door replacement, new roof, brick re-pointing, and seismic upgrades. The building is a now a complete weather tight shell that ensures preservation of this historic asset.

On weekdays the space is programmed for classes including Adult Dance and youth Ballet and Tap.

Dance for Joy! teaches adult classes in beginning Waltz and Foxtrot

A monthly dance is scheduled at Dakota Place. The first one was on October 9.

For more information contact the Hiawatha Community Center at 206.684.7441.

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