Funding sought for field catering to special needs athletes

A partnership between the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District and Beaverton School District — the first of its kind in a long history of cooperation between the two public agencies — aims to dramatically improve recreational facilities at Mountain View Middle School and create to a long-desired community park in Aloha.

The district plans to build a multipurpose athletic field complex at Mountain View, 17500 S.W. Farmington Road, in Aloha, that will feature side-by-side synthetic turf fields with lights, an adjoining field made of natural grass, and an overlapping baseball diamond with 90-foot base paths. The park and school districts will share use of the facilities, with the school district having access to them until 5:30 p.m. on school days, and the park district scheduling them for public recreation during evenings, weekends and non-school days.

The agreement also calls for the park district to purchase an approximately 3-acre parcel of unused property from the school district on the south side of Mountain View. The $439,500 transaction is expected to close within the next few months.

The partnership allows the park district to combine the athletic fields, the new parcel, a separate adjoining property acquired late last year, and nearby Lawndale Park to form a new community park comprising about 20 acres.

“It is unique in that fields on BSD property will become part of a THPRD park,” noted Bob Wayt, park district spokesman.

Master planning for the park site is scheduled to begin this fall, with citizens expected to have ample opportunity to provide input during plan development. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2016. Most of the funding for the community park project, whose cost is estimated at $9 million, will come from the district’s $100 million bond measure voters approved in 2008.

Park district General Manager Doug Menke praised the collaboration as a win for the entire community that will bring developed park space to an area in need of it.

“When the park district and BSD work together like this and share resources efficiently, it’s a good deal for taxpayers,” said Menke, who extended thanks to school district partners. “Many pieces needed to fall into place for this plan to happen, but they did, and we’re excited. Our Aloha residents have needed a community park for a long time, and we think this one will be exceptional.”

Other park amenities will include play equipment, a perimeter trail, picnic facilities, a parking lot, restrooms and other improvements.

If private funding can be secured, a separate, smaller synthetic turf field will be established at the new community park and become Oregon’s first “Champions Too” sports facility for special-needs athletes, Wayt said. The multipurpose field will be available for others in the community when special-needs athletes aren’t using it.

While the park project is largely funded through 2008 bond measure money, funds for the Champions Too facility will be raised through the nonprofit Tualatin Hills Park Foundation and private sources, said Wayt.

Development of the Aloha community park will likely be a factor as Washington County develops its ongoing Aloha-Reedville Study, which is designed to enhance quality of life issues and address future growth, he noted.

Beaverton School District Superintendent Jeff Rose said the partnership between the two districts provides benefits for children, students and athletes as well as older, established neighborhood residents.

“Our long-standing partnership with THPRD continues to be of benefit to our students and the community,” he said. “These new fields will provide improved physical education opportunities for our Mountain View Middle School students, practice fields for our high school athletes and recreational facilities for the surrounding community.”

For more information, visit or call 503-645-6433.

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