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Large park coming to Aloha

Includes athletic facilities and Oregon's first Champions Too accessible field

COURTESY THPRD - Soccer and lacrosse will be among sports played at synthetic turf fields planned for a new park in Aloha.The Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District’s largest park project in a decade soon will be under construction in Aloha.

On Monday, THPRD’s Board of Directors approved an $8.75 million bid from P&C Construction for the major construction on the 21.5-acre park behind Mountain View Middle School. Work is expected to begin this year and continue into 2017.

The park, for now known as SW Quadrant Community Park until it’s officially named, also will be the largest athletic facility in the southern half of the district and will contain Oregon’s first Champions Too sports field designed for players of all abilities.

The future park, with a total maximum budget of $14.1 million, is the single-largest project funded in large part through the $100 million capital improvement bond voters approved in 2008 and one of several parks sited in Aloha, which long has had fewer parks than some areas across the sprawling district.

“We have wanted to build more park facilities in the Aloha area for some time,” THPRD spokesman Bob Wayt said, noting other recent projects including Barsotti Park in Aloha and Paul and Verna Winkelman Park on Cooper Mountain. “We are addressing the needs of that community.”

In a partnership with the Beaverton School District, the new park will straddle property owned by both districts, including Mountain View’s athletic fields, THPRD’s existing Lawndale Park and property the park district bought more recently.

The park will include two full-sized synthetic turf fields close to Mountain View. They will sit side by side and will be ideal for soccer and lacrosse games and useful as practice fields for other popular school sports, including football, said Tim Bonnin, a senior park planner who is coordinating the Aloha project.

The smaller Champions Too field, to be located at the southern end of the park, also will be covered with synthetic turf and appropriate for a variety of sports, including games for players with physical or developmental disabilities.

Additionally, new tennis courts and baseball/softball fields will replace existing facilities. Basketball courts were cut from the approved plan because the cost was over budget.

Use for school athletics during the school days and early afternoons, the athletic facilities will largely be used for community sports programs during the evenings and weekends.

Other amenities will be available to any visitor during park hours.

A large accessible playground, concessions area and restrooms will be built in the center of the park. Trails will wind throughout the property, including into a natural area at the southwestern end.

A new 60-space parking lot will be built off Southwest 170th Avenue. More than 100 spaces also will be available at the school during off hours.

Picnic and viewing shelters also are part of the master plan but didn’t squeeze into the current budget, although THPRD has applied for Oregon Parks and Recreation Department grant funding that could cover at least part of the $253,000 construction cost for those amenities.

The park includes several environmentally friendly elements, including energy-efficient LED sports field lighting and the use of repurposed shoe rubber to pad the synthetic turf fields.

At the time of the bond measure, the community park was slated to be about half the size now planned – and a little more than half its current budget.

But the partnership with the school district, new property acquisition and the Champions Too proposal were all added to the park’s scope in recent years. The booming construction industry also added at least $1.5 million to the final cost, said Keith Hobson, THPRD’s director of Business and Facilities.

And while this project’s budget has grown, in part due to market conditions, the economy also worked to THPRD’s advantage for several years following the bond approval. Construction costs plummeted during the Great Recession, land prices also dipped somewhat and investors paid premiums to buy their government-issued bonds. Together those factors allowed THPRD to stretch bond dollars into more land purchases and lower tax rates than originally anticipated.

The budget for this project includes $10.7 million from the bond, up to $2.25 million from fees assessed to new development and $1.5 million from fundraising for the Champions Too field. That fundraising effort is nearly two years along, and nearly $500,000 in additional donations still is needed to cover the costs of construction and kick-starting the programming, said Geoff Roach, THPRD’s director of community partnerships.

“It’s been a wonderful undertaking,” Roach said. “We’re just thrilled by the way the community has shown up to participate.”

By Eric Apalategui
Beaverton Reporter
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