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SeaSk8: Interview with James from Gridline

July 07, 2009

In celebration of the grand opening of the new SeaSk8, I asked James Klinedinst, the Grindline project manager for the project, to tell us a little about it.

MLJ: Hi James from Grindline. Thanks for agreeing to answer a few questions about the new SeaSk8.

James: No problem, thank you for recognizing all our company’s hard work that went into this project.

MLJ: Of course! You guys deserve way more than an interview on this crappy website! Anyway…as a Seattle skateboarder, you have to feel a special affinity for this project. How do you think the new SeaSk8 fits in to Seattle’s skateboarding history? Is it a milestone?

James: Any project that we do is special for us, but if it in our hometown it is what many of us have been working towards for most of our lives; creating a place to skate for ourselves and our friends. I feel it is a good fit for the Seattle Center. It is what the Center needs in order to revitalize and bring youth back into our city’s commons.

This is one small milestone in a long uphill struggle to fulfill the needs of Seattle area skateboarders with accessible skateparks and spots.

MLJ: So true. A lot of work was put in by the skaters and the advocates to get the park built on the Seattle Center campus. How do you think the location influenced the design and construction of the park? I mean….it’s pretty over the top compared to other Seattle parks.

James: I feel that the design of the skatepark was entirely influenced by the location of the park. It is over the top; literally over the top of a building. There were many constraints that were put upon the project by locating it at a location of an existing, functioning building that needed to remain functioning during demolition and through out construction. The constraints drove the engineering, design and construction of this entire project. What most people don’t realize is the extensive work done by McClure and Sons to demo and retro fit the site in order to build a skatepark at this location. It was a skatepark construction project that has never been done before.

MLJ: You guys were asked to work a little differently than you’re used to on this project. What were some of the challenges you guys faced in the field during construction?

James: The biggest challenge was the foam fill that was used on this park. EPS foam has been used in other construction projects and even in a few skatepark projects in the past, but not to the intricacy and level that was required at the SeaSkate project. We shaped the EPS foam by hand, inventing tools and techniques as we went. The project specification tolerances required us to get the foam to +or- 1/8”. In fact the foam manufacturer told us that it was impossible to meet these tolerances, but we did it. This project is causing talk in both the design and construction fields about the versatility and positive attributes of the EPS foam fill.

MLJ: It sounds different too. You can feel people skate by on the upper deck. So…SeaSk8 has a long legacy in Seattle, with many people having been involved in past incarnations as well as a strong memorial component to the park with the dedication to James Crabtree. How do you think this park stands up to that legacy?

James: I think the memorial to James Crabtree is great and many of the bronze skateboarder plaques from the old skatepark memorial were incorporated into the memorial at the new park.

MLJ: Thanks for taking the time to speak to me James from Grindline, and thanks for building another great Seattle skatepark.

James: You’re welcome!

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