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Costly drainage fix takes place at Lake Grove

Old system at the school is being updated this summer
by: Vern Uyetake, 
Construction workers with Kerr Contractors are building a new drainage system at Lake Grove Elementary School.

Lake Grove Elementary School is getting a new drainage system this summer that will cost the district almost $1 million.

The school building was built after the original facility burned down in 1949. At the time, the school was a part of the Lake Grove district before the district merged with the Lake Oswego School District in 1955, and the city of Lake Oswego's storm water system did not yet extend out to Lake Grove.

Instead, the school was built with a drain field system - a type of drainage that naturally builds up silt over time.

It became obvious that the district needed to update the system when water started to bubble up near the play structure a few years ago, said the district's Financial Director Stuart Ketzler.

Additionally, water had peeled up some paint in the gym and there were concerns about water perking up underneath the building.

Originally, the district planned to start the first of two phases last year to install a new drainage system that would be connected to the city's storm water system.

However, because of the size of the building and the amount of runoff it will create, the city is requiring the school to treat the water before it goes into the system.

The district began installing a natural treatment system -involving gravel, sand and piping - underneath the parking lot just a week after school got out.

Kerr Contractors, which was awarded a $740,000 bid for the project, is currently taking out the asphalt to be re-used.

The budgeted amount for the project is $900,000, and there were initial concerns about the cost of removing any large boulders from the pit - which is 130 feet long, 30 feet wide and 9 feet deep. Though some boulders have been found, there have been none too large to remove with the equipment that Kerr already has. The boulders will be used as a natural curb to keep people from parking in the trees.

After the parking lot is repaved, then new drain lines will go up around the building.

The project should wrap up hopefully before the teachers come back in the fall.

For now, there is no onsite parking at Lake Grove, however, the project will not significantly impact any of the district's summer programs. The baseball fields will not be used for the summer, but teams are playing at other fields within the district. Also, summer daycare, which has typically been held at Lake Grove, is at Uplands Elementary School this summer.

Staff are parking in the bus barn lot or by the facilities operations building.