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Turf fields advancing on 2 fronts

Progress is happening on two fronts for local turf field projects set for completion later this year.

Excavation work on the baseball field at Lake Oswego High School got a nudge forward Jan. 12 when the Lake Oswego School Board approved a bid for the project.

Parson's Excavating of Tualatin submitted the winning bid of $878,683 for the work, which includes leveling and filling the field before it's resurfaced this spring.

Officials anticipate the field's completion in April.

'The varsity baseball season for LOHS will be played on the field,' said Superintendent Bill Korach.

The LOHS project remained in limbo for years while city and district officials discussed various location options for a second turf field at Lakeridge. It was finally approved in 2004.

'If we couldn't do two fields … we would have probably looked at some sort of central site,' Korach said.

The selected Lakeridge site, located north of the school, received final approval from the city's Development Review Commission Jan. 3.

The decision follows years of talks with neighbors, who complained about parking and traffic near the school. The DRC agreement will require more meetings with neighbors to address their concerns.

'It's a real community success story,' Korach said.

Resurfacing both fields is expected to cost about $2.4 million, with the district contributing $1.5 million from its operating budget.

A voter-approved city parks bond will add $900,000 to the effort.

Korach hopes the district will reclaim costs extracted from its operating budget through fund-raising, fees and donations.

Lake Oswego resident Jim Mendenhall, a sales representative for the West Coast distributor of FieldTurf, donated $350,000 worth of artificial turf to the district.

The board will approve a bid for excavation at the Lakeridge field in February, Korach said. Leveling work is set to begin sometime this spring and tentatively end in June.

'Everything depends on the weather and when we can get started,' Korach said.

The construction shouldn't affect athletic events or practices, Korach said.

Although it's in disrepair, the practice field at Lakeridge is typically used for team practices and for the javelin throw during track and field meets.

'It's not been used as much as it will be used' once it's resurfaced, Korach said.

The Pacer Parent Club is raising money through its annual auction to build a new concession stand near the site.