Seattle City Light chose Urban ArtWorks to create a mural that will line Denny Way while clean-up work gets started in preparation for future construction of the Denny Substation. The mural was designed to illustrate the history and future of the neighborhood and site.
“The goal of the City and City Light is to work hand-in-hand with the community throughout the development of the substation,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien. “In the end, we will have a better asset for the city by partnering on this critical piece of infrastructure for our electrical transmission and distribution system.”
“Not only does the new substation mean greater reliability for the existing businesses in South Lake Union and our surrounding service territory, it also will be an attractive incentive for the technology businesses wanting to locate here,” added Seattle City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco. “City Light hasn’t had a new substation in 30 years and we already are seeing signs of congestion at the University, Broad and East Pine substations. The Denny substation will help us with needed improvements to both distribution and transmission in City Light’s system.”
City Light enlisted Urban ArtWorks who together with half a dozen youth from King County’s Education Employment Training program and neighborhood volunteers painted the temporary mural under the supervision of a professional artist. It will be installed on the construction fence currently bordering the future substation site located along Denny Way. Being a good neighbor and property steward is a high priority for City Light. This includes taking steps to improve the Denny Substation site appearance at every project phase.
“The youth who work on these projects are provided the invaluable experience of civic contribution and working with others toward a common goal,” said Stephanie Tschida, Executive Director of Urban Artworks.
Councilmember Nick Licata added that “I am very pleased that City Light has recruited the services of Urban ArtWorks, I’ve always been very supportive of their mission.”
Urban ArtWorks mission is to empower young people and restore communities through the creation of indoor and outdoor art displays, enhancing positive life skills, increasing community attachment and beautifying neighborhoods.
Although construction activity at the site is on-hold through the winter months, the site is being monitored for erosion control. Activity will pick-up again in April when phase two of the environmental cleanup begins. That work will include excavation and site preparation. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is scheduled for completion in early 2014 with the final EIS coming later in 2014. Substation construction is scheduled to begin in late 2014. The substation is scheduled to be energized in late 2016.
Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to nearly 1 million Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.