On Monday, Nov. 6, 2023 a new era rolled into the historic, former HiLine Lanes bowling alley as a new Girls Bowling program was started by Highline Public Schools.
As we previously reported, in April, 2021, the school district purchased the bowling alley and parking lot to expand the needed storage and parking for their central office. There was a big, emotional closing of the historic alley, and all us outsiders thought that we all had heard the last pin drop.
But that all changed this week – bowling has returned, for female students at least. The school district actually preserved 10 of the bowling lanes and are re-using them.
“Two teams hit the lanes for their first practice, with more teams and talent to come as students become eligible,” the district said. “This is just the beginning, and we can’t wait to see our Girls Bowling program flourish and our athletes shine on the lanes.”
The district is currently participating in WIAA-sanctioned girls league bowling. All four comprehensive High Schools have fielded teams, and balls are rolling again, as practice season has started.
“We will look at additional levels of district participation once we get the first girls bowling season behind us,” district officials said. This could be some variation of Physical Education credit, team-building, field trip destinations, or many other suggestions, ideas and requests being presented.
“The HiLine Lanes owners have been very good neighbors over the years, allowing us to use their parking lot when we have had large meetings, such as professional development for staff from multiple schools,” district Chief Operations Officer Scott Logan told The B-Town Blog. “When the owners decided to retire and sell, we took the opportunity to purchase the property. This preserved our access to parking space and gave us an additional asset to support our students and the district.
“Simultaneously, our athletic department was looking for opportunities to expand girls’ athletics offerings,” Logan added. “We work to achieve a balance in gender participation in school sports. This is an ongoing challenge, with historically higher male participation across K-12 athletic programs.
Logan added that soon we’ll also see girls flag football at local stadiums and High Schools.
Built in the late 1950s, HiLine Lanes once operated 24 lanes, Pat John’s Pro Shop, The 11th Frame Restaurant, the funky corner Hi Room Lounge/Bar, Event Room, Arcade and a regular rotation of local bowlers. It was a fun, lively place that catered to both families and serious bowlers, with regular leagues, tournaments, even glow-in-the-dark nights and occasional karaoke set up on one of the lanes.
“Planning is in progress to make use of the building for office and meeting space, in addition to salvaging 10 lanes for our new high school league,” officials added. “We’ve renovated the roof and painted to preserve the building. We may make use of the kitchen and cafe space for future student learning programs.”
Below are photos from a recent bowling event, courtesy Highline Public Schools (click arrows or swipe photos to view slideshow):