Superintendent admits sign a safety hazard; plans to move it underway

by: Stover E. Harger III The Scappoose School District plans to move this sign away from its current home near the intersection of E.M. Watts Road and Highway 30, following residents' concerns that it blocks visibility of the busy highway.

The Scappoose School District Superintendent said he agrees with some residents' concerns that the district's large concrete sign at the corner of E.M. Watts Road and Highway 30 is a safety hazard.

Superintendent John Miner said Wednesday morning that after reviewing the "Chinook Fields" sign's placement, the district has begun plans to have it moved further away from the intersection. That's because the sign partially blocks motorists' line of sight - despite being outside the technical safety-restricted zone.

"It's always different when you look at something in a drawing and when you get it in the ground," Miner said.

Although the sign had city approval and met all ordinances, Miner said, "There was some sight impairment."

Miner said moving the sign will require city approval. He said it will cost the district some money, but isn't yet sure how much that will be.

Since our initial Dec. 7 report on the criticism surrounding placement of the concrete marker, The Spotlight has heard from numerous readers about their desire to see the sign moved.

"Glad to know I'm not the only one concerned," wrote Shannon Fischer on "I also called the district as well as the city... I have 6 children in this district and am going to be very concerned if the sign isn't changed."

The not-yet-completed sign, built by Portland architecture firm DLR Group, is meant to advertise the recreation field where the former Petersen Elementary School stood. It stands 5 feet tall and is nearly 12 feet wide.