Skils’kin Assists Neighborhood Revitalization
Skils’kin has found success through our connections and investment in the community. Through the combined support of concerned families and business leaders, Skils’kin came to be in 1970. Since then our continuing commitment to work together with our many friends and business partners in the community has created immense success. As Skils’kin’s headquarters is located in Spokane we constantly work to live and give back to the many communities in this area. Spokane is made up of its many diverse neighborhoods. While Skils’kin is a part of many of these communities, the Commercial Services team recently made a monumental contribution to the West Central Neighborhood.
West Central has been a staple throughout Spokane’s history. Near the turn of the century, the majority of the neighborhood’s houses were built, and have remained standing since. The community was vibrant and filled with the blue-collar workers of the railroad industry. For years this was considered a cornerstone neighborhood of the city. During the early 1970s, Spokane experienced large economic changes and the booming commerce of the railroads declined rapidly. Due to layoffs and the rising cost of living, the West Central neighborhood began to fall into disarray and was dubbed Felony Flats as the abandoned rail yard became a hub for crime. In the early 1990s, a group of community activists came together to reclaim their once beloved neighborhood. Action was taken through community development, remodeled homes, C.O.P.S. (Community Oriented Policing Services), and new business development. West Central experienced a rebirth.
Revitalization of the West Central Neighborhood has taken time and investment from the community and is still underway today. There have been many players, and Skils’kin is proud to have contributed to Dutch Jake’s Park. Through our experience with public works projects, the Commercial Services crew was prepared to work as a contractor, while expanding our services and knowledge. On this project, we provided labor, laying down 26,000 square feet of sod, and assisted assembling the irrigation system. Starting in October of 2019, a small team began to move rocks and soil to create a level field for the play structure. During this time an irrigation system was also assembled underground. Molly Lorenzo, Commercial Services Supervisor, could feel the community connection during the project, “It was a great experience and we learned a lot… Neighbors would come by and check-in on the progress. The neighborhood was supportive.”
November 21st, 2019 was the grand reopening of Dutch Jake’s Park. It was a vibrant event on a sunny brisk day in West Central. Mayor David Condon spoke about the obvious success of the beautification project, and how much he personally enjoyed the new play structures earlier that morning. He was then followed by community members and businesses honoring the neighborhood and the many invested players in taking ownership. A community-based marching band then took the field and played off the event as families and community members enjoyed the park.
Skils’kin Commercial Services crew: Brandon Skocilich, Molly Lorenzo, Aethena Doney and Aaron Hatman